Every May, the National Eye Institute celebrates Healthy Vision Month to remind people of all ages to stop and pay attention to their eye health. After all, while you may see your doctor for an annual physical, many people only see an eye doctor when they have an issue, which means you could be missing out on important preventative care. Take the time now to make an appointment with your eye doctor in Chicago, and focus on your eye health with these important tips.
Find Out Your Family History
Did you know that many eye diseases are hereditary? Understanding your family’s eye health history will help you and your eye doctor determine which diseases could happen to you. Because many conditions that cause blindness run in families, knowing your risks can help your eye doctor make important decisions about screening tests and treatments that are right for you.
Live an Eye-Healthy Lifestyle
Many of your everyday habits can impact your eye health. Smoking can cause a number of different eye problems, including cataracts and macular degeneration, so don’t pick it up, or ask your doctor for help quitting if you are currently a smoker. Eat a healthy diet with plenty of vitamin-rich foods. If you have a chronic condition that impacts your eyes, like diabetes, follow your treatment plan closely. Wear sunglasses to avoid eye damage from UV exposure, and wear protective eyewear when necessary on the job and in sports.
Get Regular Eye Exams
Many eye conditions don’t have symptoms in their early stages, which means you could miss an important window of treatment opportunity. Your eye doctor can diagnose and treat these conditions by identifying them during an annual eye exam. Be sure to have a dilated eye exam when recommended by your doctor. Dilated exams let your eye doctor see the back of your eye to better evaluate your eye health. Eye exams are also important for verifying the effectiveness of your current vision correction treatments, like eyeglasses, and make adjustments to your prescriptions as needed.