It’s October, and, for many of us, that means all eyes are on Halloween. However, on October 11, we have our sights set on a celebrating a different holiday: World Sight Day.
World Sight Day is a global event designed to draw attention to blindness and vision impairment, orchestrated by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness in cooperation with the World Health Organization.
This is in action because over 75% of all blindness is avoidable.
The top causes of visual impairments are refractive error, cataracts, and glaucoma, but just visiting the eye doctor can treat most of these.
Everyone can work towards reducing these issues by making sure to have an annual eye exam.
October also marks the start of fall and back to school is in full swing.
Here are some vision tips for children:
The American Optometric Association recommends that kids get their first eye exam between 6 to 12 months of age, at least once between 3 and 5 years old, and once more before first grade to assess if there is any refractive error that needs to be corrected. Then, kids should get an annual eye exam after that as their eyes continue to change and develop.
As we get older, we will all end up developing cataracts, but they are nothing to be scared of. Your eye doctor will be able to look at the lenses inside your eye and be able to assess if cataracts are developing. Cataract surgery is one of the most common and safest surgeries performed in the US, and only takes about 15 minutes to perform.
Glaucoma is a degenerative disease that damages the optic nerve inside the eye, which can cause peripheral vision loss. Doctors will normally measure your eye pressure; too high an eye pressure can cause further damage to the nerve, causing quicker vision loss. The earlier glaucoma is caught, the greater chances patients have of keeping their vision.
Keep your eye on your vision health and make it your resolution on October 11 to have a vision exam once a year. Read more about World Sight Day at this link.
~ Dr. Monique Smyth, Optometric Resident, Virginia Eye Consultants