To the editor:
Is your family’s vision health at risk?
A CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind) study showed that more than a quarter of Canadians don’t believe that regular eye exams have a major impact on reducing the risk of vision loss.
The same study reported that among Canadians who hadn’t had an eye exam in the past two years, more than half said the reason was they believed they have good vision.
But many serious eye diseases that can cause vision loss have no symptoms and can only be detected through a comprehensive eye exam.
May is Vision Health Month and CNIB and Doctors of Optometry Canada are calling on Canadians to protect their families’ vision by getting an eye exam.
Vision loss can happen at any age, so how can you protect the vision health of your family? Infants and toddlers should undergo their first examination between the ages of six and nine months. Children should then undergo at least one eye exam between the ages of two and five years old, followed by annual exams for school-age children.
Adults should visit their doctor of optometry at least every two years, and seniors over 65 years old should book annual appointments.
Besides a regular exam, there is more you can do to protect your sight. Always wear sunglasses when you’re outside as UV damage can cause cataracts, macular degeneration, cornea sunburn, tissue growths on the surface of the eye and eyelid skin cancer.
Nutrition can also play a part in vision health, so eat a healthy diet and stay active.
Visit cnib.ca to fill out our Healthy Vision Checklist and make sure you’re doing all you can to prevent vision loss.
Dr. Keith Gordon,
vice-president of research, CNIB