Vision Care: An Eye-opening Reality

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Another factor affecting the health of your eyes is diet. Eating foods rich in vitamin A, such as carrots, eggs, milk products, codfish and halibut, can keep your eyes healthy.

[Affinity’s Health Tips]

Many adults and children don’t get an eye exam until a problem happens.

This is a big mistake. By not having your eyes checked on a regular basis, you risk developing lasting vision problems that, most often, could have been avoided.
Everyone should have routine eye exams. These exams often find common problems, such as nearsightedness, which can be easily corrected. Also, serious conditions, such as glaucoma, can be caught early if you have frequent eye exams.

Common Vision Problems
•Nearsightedness – People who are nearsighted can't clearly see objects that are far away. Watching a movie in a theatre is hard for people with this vision problem.
•Farsightedness – People who are farsighted can’t see objects that are close up. Therefore, tasks such as reading a book and sewing are hard to do without glasses or corrective lenses. A person of any age can be farsighted, but many people develop this condition in their late 40s and early 50s.
•Glaucoma – Glaucoma is a disease that happens when pressure inside the eye increases enough to harm the main vision nerve (optic nerve). The condition develops slowly and painlessly, and is one of the leading causes of blindness in the U.S. Glaucoma is not preventable, but through frequent eye exams, it can be detected and treated early before any lasting harm happens. Make sure you specifically ask your doctor about the test for glaucoma as it may not be automatically performed.

While everyone should be tested for glaucoma, some people have a higher chance of getting the disease. They include:
African-Americans over 40 years old
Anyone over 60 years old, especially Latinos
People with a family history of glaucoma
Diabetics

Eating habits 
Another factor affecting the health of your eyes is diet. Eating foods rich in vitamin A, such as carrots, eggs, milk products, codfish and halibut, can keep your eyes healthy.

Get Checked
Be sure to get your eyes checked once every two years until age 60, then every year after. Some people who have a high chance of getting vision problems may need to have eye exams more often. Babies and children should have their vision screened more often by their doctor. Your doctor can decide if you need to see a vision specialist as well as how often you should be checked and what tests you should have.



Dr. Stephanie Citerman works at Affinity Health Plan, an independent, not-for-profit organization offering free or low-cost health care coverage to New Yorkers.

For more information visit
www.affinityplan.org or call (866) 247-5678. For questions about vision or general health, e-mail Dr. Citerman at drciterman@affinityplan.org.

 

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