September is Healthy Aging Month. No matter what your age, it's easy to take care of your eyes to avoid vision loss! By simply having a comprehensive dilated eye exam, your eye care professional can identify eye diseases in early stages, hopefully before any vision loss occurs. A comprehensive dilated eye exam is different from a basic eye exam. In a comprehensive dilated eye exam, they dilate your pupils so they are able to examine the back of your eyes. By doing this, they can check for early signs of:
- Age-related macular degeneration - the leading cause of severe vision loss in adults over 50 years old.
- Glaucoma - the #2 leading cause of blindness.
- Cataracts - cloudy or blurry eyesight.
- Diabetic retinopathy - damaged blood vessels in the tissue at the back of the eye, caused by poorly controlled blood sugar. Causes difficulty seeing, including blindness.
In addition to going to an eye care professional regularly, there are also several other things you can do on a day-to-day basis to help your eyes stay healthy:
- Eat well - there are certain nutrients that can help keep your eyes healthy. Click here to learn what they are.
- Watch your weight - do what you can to decrease your risk for diabetes, which can affect your eyesight.
- Don't smoke - smoking can increase your risk for age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and can damage the optic nerve.
- Protect your eyes when outdoors - choose the right sunglasses when spending time outside. Not all sunglasses are created equal - click here to learn which sunglasses to pick.