Focus on eye health this March

By Staff Writer • Published: March 3rd, 2014
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Imagine never witnessing another stunning sunset or looking into your loved ones’ eyes. A recent study from Lighthouse International found that eighty percent of American worry about losing sight more than any other sense. Blindness is a reality thousands of people face every year, even though very few actually see their ophthalmologist every year.

But getting your peepers examined routinely can detect and deter many ailments — like blindness — before they start. March is Save Your Vision and Workplace Eye Wellness Month, dedicated to keeping this most vital organ healthy.

As it turns out, the eyes have it — and are in fact a window to not only the proverbial soul, but to general health as well. An eye exam can uncover serious problems, such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes and brain tumors.

Furthermore, eighty-six percent of those who already suffer from an eye disease do not regularly visit their eye doctor for fear or because they lack insurance coverage. Early detection can save eyes from degeneration or disease.

But there are a few things you can do before it ever comes to that. If you have diabetes, manage your blood sugar carefully to prevent blinding conditions such as diabetic retinopathy. Wear sunglasses outside — the sun can burn sensitive retinas just as it does skin. While not as fashionable as your favorite shades, it’s also a good idea to don some safety goggles when wielding racquetballs, sharp pruning shears or a lawnmower. Debris can fly up and into eyes.

Eating a balanced diet heavy on vitamins like A, C, E and zinc wards off macular degeneration, which can lead to blurred vision and eventually blindness.

So don’t become a Mr. Magoo — protect your peepers and they’ll take care of you.