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May is Healthy Vision Month

| Pemberton Library

Taking care of your eyes can be a priority just like eating healthy and physical activity. Healthy vision can help keep you safe each day. Having an eye exam is the best way to find out if you need glasses or contacts, or are in the early stages of any eye-related diseases.

An estimated 11 million Americans aged 12 years and older could see better if they used corrective lenses, or eye surgery, if appropriate. Some eye conditions can cause vision loss and even blindness.

Here are several other ways to protect your vision:
  • Know your family’s eye health history some eye conditions are hereditary which makes you at a higher risk of developing the diseases yourself.
  • Wear protective eyewear like safety glasses, goggles and shields. When playing sports wear safety sports glasses. Baseballs and tennis balls can easily cause a retinal detachment if hitting the eye with enough force.
    When doing activities around the home, such as painting and yard work and for household chores, such as cleaning with detergents and bleach which can easily cause eye injuries just from being splashed into the face and eyes. 
    Always were protective eyewear in the workplace if required.  About 2,000 U.S. workers have job related eye injuries requiring medical treatment each day.
  • Eat healthy foods including dark, leafy greens like spinach, kale and collard greens and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, tuna, trout and halibut.
  • Get active. Being physically active can lower your risk of health conditions that can cause eye health or vision problems — like diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Exercise improves circulation and improved circulation leads to increased blood flow. Good blood flow is vital for good eye health.
  • Quit smoking or never startSmoking increases your risk of diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts — and it can harm the optic nerve.
  • Wear sunglasses — even on cloudy days! Sunglasses help protect the eyes from damaging sun rays. Harmful or excessive sunlight exposure can cause cataracts, macular degeneration and pterygiums. Be sure to look for sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of both Ultraviolet A (UVA) and Ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation. A wide brimmed hat can help also.
  • Give your eyes a rest. Digital eye strain is a growing problem. Try using the 20-20-20 rule throughout the day: every 20 minutes, look away from digital devices and focus about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds.
  • Avoid Infections - Always wash your hands before handling your contact lenses. Avoid sharing make-up etc.

Did you know that through the Library of Congress the National Library Service (NLS) is a free braille and talking book library service for people with temporary or permanent low vision, blindness, or a physical, perceptual, or reading disability that prevents them from using regular print materials. Through a national network of cooperating libraries, NLS circulates books and magazines in braille or audio formats, that are instantly downloadable to a personal device or delivered by mail free of charge.

Audience: All Ages
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