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Lifestyle Choices to help Prevent Vision Loss
from Eye Disease

What can you do to reduce your risk for cataracts and macular degeneration?

Lots! Wise lifestyle choices can have a huge impact on the risk for most chronic diseases. Basically, anything that is heart healthy will reduce your risk for just about all other disease processes, including eye disease. Here are the top seven things you can do.

  1. eat smartDon’t Smoke – Smoking greatly increases the risk for cataracts and macular degeneration (and just about every other disease process you can think of). It is never too late to stop smoking and the health benefits of quitting are significant and definitely worth it.

  2. Eat Smart – Have a diet low in saturated and trans fats (read labels!). Consume lots of vegetables and fruits on a regular basis, It’s important to have a wide variety of vegetables and fruits, but green leafy vegetables like spinach seem to be especially beneficial in reducing the risk for macular degeneration.

  3. Maintain Appropriate Body Weight – Believe it not, being overweight or obese significantly increases the risk for cataract and macular degeneration.

  4. Take a Good Multivitamin Daily – There is growing evidence that getting appropriate levels of vitamins and minerals daily reduces the risk for many diseases, including cataract and macular degeneration. A recent study published in the June 2002 Journal of the American Medical Association concluded “We recommend that all adults take a multivitamin daily.” Taking an omega 3 supplement (fish oil or flax seed oil) is also highly recommended.

  5. Get Sensible Exercise on a Regular Basis – We are much too sedentary. It is important to walk briskly on a regular basis. Regular cardiovascular and weight bearing exercises reduce the risk for most chronic diseases, including eye diseases.

  6. Protect Your Eyes from Ultraviolet Light Exposure – Ultraviolet (UV) exposure increases the risk for cataract and macular degeneration. You are exposed to UV whenever you are outdoors during the day, rain or shine, all year around. Whenever you are outside during the day, you should wear eye protection that shields you from UV. Clear lenses or sun lenses can be made to give 100 percent protection from UV. Wearing a hat with a brim or a cap with a visor also helps protect your eyes from UV. It is especially important for children to wear UV protection. Eighty percent of total lifetime UV exposure takes place prior to age 18.

  7. Have Periodic Preventive Eye Exams – Most serious eye diseases have no symptoms whatsoever. Because of this, many people suffer needless vision loss that could have been prevented. Routine preventive eye exams increase the likelihood of early detection and treatment of sight threatening eye disease, making it possible to prevent such vision loss. Routine check-ups are one of the best ways to protect your vision and eye health. If you haven’t had an eye exam in a while, consider having one soon and regularly thereafter.

PROTECTING OUR COMMUNITY

We have been working very hard to prepare to re-open for normal "routine" preventive eye care, taking every precaution to ensure the safety of everyone involved. We are pleased to announce as of Monday May 18th we'll be seeing patients for all types of eye care, including routine annual eye exams.

But, things will be very different than they were prior to the pandemic.

1. Our front door will be locked at all times. We will be allowing only 1 person at a time in the office and by appointment only, so please enter alone, or with no more than l other person accompanying you. Others may wait in the car.

2. Masks will be required for both patients and us while in our office.

3. Upon entering, we will be checking your temperature and screen you for COVID symptoms or possible exposure. If your temperature is 100 F or higher, or you have symptoms or may have recently been exposed to COVID, we will reschedule you.

4. We will need you to respect the 6 feet personal distancing while outside the exam room

5. We will have you wash your hands for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer when you enter. We will be using hand washing and hand sanitizer constantly and will be disinfecting everything you and we touch. Please don't touch anything that isn't absolutely necessary.

6. For frame selection or picking out glasses, please let us help you, and don't just browse and try on frames by yourself. We have to disinfect the frames every time they are touched or worn, and we need to know which frames need to be disinfected.

We are doing all these things to protect you and all of our other patients as best we can. We will need and depend on your cooperation on this during this very difficult time. Doing so will protect your fellow patients-many of whom are at extremely high risk if they contract COVID - and to protect us. All healthcare providers are putting themselves in harm's way every day during this pandemic - the more we all cooperate and take appropriate precautions, the better off we all will be.

We are all in this together. Thank you for your patience, understanding, and cooperation.

Please stay safe.

Dr. Jim Hutchins and staff