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Seven Tips For Optimal Vision

As we age, so do our eyes and the risk of eye problems and vision loss increases. In fact, one out of every six adults age 45 and above has a vision-threatening eye condition. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), more than forty-three million Americans will develop some sort of age-related eye disease by 2020.

You don’t need to just sit around and wait for your eyes and vision to deteriorate as there are many things you can do to protect your vision and reduce your risks of eye disease and vision loss.

7 Tips for Protecting Your Precious Eyes

Here are 7 eye-health tips to protect your eyes and vision as you age:

  1. Regular eye exams. The number one thing you can do to protect your eyes and vision is to schedule routine eye exams every year to check the health of your eyes. Many eye diseases must be detected and treated early to prevent vision loss and often symptoms don’t appear until it’s too late. Regular eye exams can catch a developing disease before vision is lost.
  2. UV eye protection. UV rays from the sun can damage your eyes and increase the risk of diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Any time you go outside (winter or summer) wear sunglasses with full UV protection as well as a hat or visor to protect your eyes from UV coming in from the top or the side of your glasses.
  3. Don’t smoke. Smoking significantly increases your risks of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts as well as other eye diseases. This is just another reason to quit.
  4. Eat a healthy diet. A balanced diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens as well as omega-3 fatty acids from fish and other sources can give you nutrients that will reduce your risks of many eye diseases including macular degeneration.
  5. Exercise regularly. Research by the AAO suggests that regular exercise can reduce the risk of macular degeneration by as much as 70%.
  6. Keep diabetes and high blood pressure under control. When not controlled and monitored these diseases can cause vision loss from serious eye problems such as diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, glaucoma and ocular hypertension. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure schedule regular eye exams to monitor your eye health.
  7. Know your family history and risk factors. Be aware of your latent risks for eye disease by knowing your family health history and the risk factors associated with your age, race, gender and lifestyle. If you have any risk factors tell your eye doctor and learn about what you need to do to prevent eye disease.

As with any medical issue, be on the alert for any changes in vision. If you experience any of the following conditions see an eye doctor immediately: double or hazy vision, difficulty seeing in low light conditions, flashes of light, floaters, and eye pain or swelling. Any of these symptoms may indicate a potentially serious eye health problem which need immediate attention.

Make sure your eyes are checked regularly through a comprehensive eye exam even if you don’t have any symptoms or vision loss. In addition to making sure you are seeing your best, this can detect the development of any serious eye disease. Adhering to these tips may not guarantee 20/20 vision for life but it will help you reduce your risk of eye and vision problems and to preserve your vision for a healthier life.

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