SOME eye diseases have no warning signs until damage has been done, but vision loss may be minimized if diseases are detected and treated early.
That’s why comprehensive eye exams are essential to maintaining eye health and catching problems before symptoms occur.
In the US, approximately 11 million Americans live with macular degeneration, which damages central vision and is a leading cause of legal blindness. Yet many people have never heard of the condition until they are diagnosed.
“These statistics are one reason BrightFocus Foundation is offering free resources to help protect sight,” says Stacy Pagos Haller, BrightFocus president. BrightFocus Foundation is a nonprofit organization supporting innovative research worldwide and promoting public awareness to end macular degeneration, glaucoma, and Alzheimer’s disease.
She notes that a comprehensive eye exam is more than the eye chart used to test sight at distances. It also involves pupil dilation that allows the doctor to see signs of disease, and tonometry to measure eye fluid pressure, helpful in detecting glaucoma.
Comprehensive exams are particularly important for those at risk for vision diseases, including: persons with a family history of glaucoma; persons over age 60; Hispanics; and African Americans over age 40.
Ask your doctor how often you should schedule exams, based on your family history and risk factors.
North American Precis Syndicate