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How to Protect Your Sight According to Top Eye Care Professionals

Female eye care professional conducting eye exam

We can all take steps to protect our sight. Certain eye diseases and conditions that cause vision loss are treatable if they are detected early.

You can minimize your chances of developing an eye problem in later life by making small changes to your lifestyle today. You can also minimize your chance of infection by taking good care of your contact lenses.

Here, we’ll share advice on how to protect your sight according to top eye care professionals.

1. Have a Regular Eye Exam

Fundus camera with retinal scan image display

The most important advice eye care professionals give to their patients is to have regular eye exams. Having a regular eye exam is the only way to check that your eyes are healthy and your prescription is up to date.

Not all eye conditions have obvious symptoms. Only a comprehensive dilated eye exam, during which your eye doctor uses drops to dilate your pupil, can reveal signs of disease within your eye. Diagnosing an eye condition early can dramatically improve treatment options. In turn, it can slow the progression of the disease.

A regular eye exam will also detect any small changes in your eyes that could alter the prescription of your eyeglasses or contact lenses. Wearing the wrong power lenses can negatively affect your vision. You also need an up to date prescription in order to purchase contact lenses online.

The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends the following:

If you experience any changes to your vision, eye pain or discomfort, don’t wait for your next checkup. Have an eye exam as soon as possible.

2. For Healthy Eyes, Know Your Eye Health History

Health history form with pen and glasses

How many of us have ever considered our family’s history of eye disease? There are more than 350 hereditary eye conditions. The most common of these are glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, optic atrophy and retinitis pigmentosa. Genetics can also determine refractive errors and colour blindness. Your parents or grandparents may have or had pronounced nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. If this is the case, you’re more likely to suffer from those same afflictions too.

Making your eye care professional aware of your eye health history helps them to better monitor your own eye health.

3. Take Good Care of Your Contact Lenses

woman cleaning contact lens on fingertip

For many people with refractive errors, contact lenses offer a convenient and comfortable way to correct their vision. However, it’s important to remember that contact lenses are still medical devices. While they are stringently regulated by Health Canada, their use does come with certain risk factors.

The risk of developing a serious eye infection is higher for contact lens wearers than non-wearers. Infections that can lead to blindness affect 1 out of every 500 contact lens wearers per year. So proper contact lens care is an important part of wearing contacts. Unfortunately, between 40 and 90% of contact lens wearers do not follow the instructions to care for their lenses.

Contact lenses with a weekly, monthly or bi-monthly wearing schedule need more care than daily disposable lenses. Daily disposables come individually packaged in a sterile solution and are single use only. Re-wearable lenses must be cleaned and stored at the end of each day.

The following contact lens care tips are key for all contact lens types:

4. Follow a Healthy Lifestyle

person carrying box of fresh vegetables

Small lifestyle changes can have a dramatic impact on the health of your eyes. Most eye conditions and diseases are preventable — even those that can lead to blindness. In fact, at least half of all sight loss is avoidable.

Unhealthy lifestyle factors are strongly linked to sight loss and some other medical conditions. The most simple and effective way to lower your risk of sight loss in later life is to take care of your overall health.

By following these important tips recommended by top eye care professionals, you can protect your sight for years to come.

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