Notes From the Parish Nurse.
by Jean Harris, RN
Take Good Care of Your Eyes
to take care of your eyes. The good news is that many eye problems and diseases
can be treated if caught early. To make sure you keep seeing clearly, get a
comprehensive dilated eye exam. An eye care professional will examine your eyes
for signs of vision problems or eye diseases. It's the best way to find out if
you need glasses, or are in the early stages of a serious but treatable eye
The CDC's Vision
Health Initiative and the National Eye Institute are encouraging Americans to
take care of their eyes to make sure they can see well throughout their lives.
For older individuals, vision loss usually comes from diseases associated with
aging, including macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic retinopathy and
glaucoma. A dilated eye exam is the only way to find these diseases in the early
stages, and it will also find vision problems that can be corrected, such as
nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia, in which eyes
gradually lose the ability to focus on close objects, such as the text in a
Taking care of
your eyes also may benefit your overall health. According to the CDC. people
with vision problems are more likely than those with good vision to have
diabetes, poor hearing, heart problems, high blood pressure, lower back pain and
stroke, as well as have increased risk for falls, injury and depression.
Nine Ways to
Help Protect Your Vision
The best option
is to keep your eyes as healthy as possible throughout your lifetime.
Get a dilated eye exam.
Know your family's eye health history.
Eat right to protect your sight—in particular, eat plenty of dark leafy
greens such as spinach, kale, or collard greens, and fish that is high in
omega-3 fatty acids.
Maintain a healthy weight.
eyewear when playing sports or doing activities around the home.
Quit smoking or never start.
Wear sunglasses that block 99%-100% of UVA and UVB radiation.
Clean your hands and your contact
lenses properly to avoid the risk of infection. Practice workplace eye safety.
Visit an Eye
Care Professional if...You have:
Drainage or redness of the eye
Flashes of light
Floaters (tiny specks that appear to float before your eyes)
halos, around light sources
I love being your Parish Nurse,