As September draws to a close, I’d like to point out that October is Eye Health Month*.
As an organization that works with people with terrible eye problems, Operation Eyesight feels strongly about blindness prevention. We are motivated by the fact that many eye problems occur because of late diagnosis. That’s a big issue in remote parts of Africa and India where eye specialists are scarce. But here in Canada where I live, even though we’re well-served in the areas of optometry and ophthalmology, we still have to be careful.
One group that has to pay special attention are seniors, simply because of age-related issues like cataract and macular degeneration. I wrote a post about this back in August.
But younger people, it has been suggested, are also vulnerable to eye damage. With the widespread use of video games and mobile phones that have small screens, kids are subjecting themselves to tremendous eye strain. If you’re in regular contact with kids, watch for symptoms like headaches, fatigue and difficulty focusing.
But some kinds of eye damage don’t have obvious symptoms, which is why regular eye exams are so important.
Here’s what the Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends for eye exams:
- Infants and toddlers by age six months
- Preschool children at age three, and prior to entering elementary school
- School age children (six to 19 years) annually
- Adults (20 to 64 years) every one to two years
- Older adults (65 years and older) annually
These are some things I’d like you to keep in mind as you look after your own and your family’s health. As we continue support people in India and Africa who are threatened by blindness and low vision, we can’t forget that our own eyes need attention as well.
*Each October, the Eye Health Council of Canada hosts Eye Health Canada Month, a national public awareness campaign highlighting the importance of eye health and routine eye examinations. The Eye Health Council of Canada, a partnership between the fields of ophthalmology and optometry, is the national public education division of the Canadian Association of Optometrists.