In 2003, the National Eye Institute established May as Healthy Vision Month. During this annual observance, Americans are encouraged to make their eye health a priority and learn how to keep their eyes healthy and safe. Why is Healthy Vision Month important? Healthy Vision Month is important because more than 23 million Americans age 18 and older have never had an eye exam, according to a national survey conducted by National Eye Institute. The reason: Most say they don’t think they have an eye problem. In fact: Many eye diseases don’t have symptoms in their early stages, so without an eye exam, they can’t know. And there are worrying predictions: By 2030, 11.4 million people will have diabetic retinopathy, 4.2 million will have glaucoma, and 3.7 million will have age-related macular degeneration. Healthy Vision Month encourages people to take steps to protect their sight. So during May (and quite frankly every month of the year), we encourage you to follow these five simple suggestions:
- Live a Healthy Lifestyle: Maintain a healthy weight and eat foods like fish and dark leafy green vegetables to lower your risk of eye disease. And don’t smoke—it’s as bad for your eyes as it is for the rest of your body.
- Know Your Family History: Genetics are a factor in eye disease, including diseases that are the leading causes of blindness. Talk to your family members about their eye health history.
- Use Protective Eyewear: Safety glasses or goggles can protect your eyes at work and at play. Talk to us about the right protective eyewear for your sport or job.