Easy Ways to Make Vision Health a Priority in Your Life in 2024

In recognition of Vision Health Month 2024, the Canadian Ophthalmological Society (COS) conducted a survey to evaluate Canadians’ awareness, understanding, and concerns about vision health. The survey revealed that 65% of respondents were familiar with cataracts, and more than half (53%) were aware of glaucoma.

Additionally, it found that in the past two years, 71% of Canadians have experienced at least one symptom affecting their eyes or vision. Dr. Phil Hooper, president of the COS, emphasizes that while awareness of major eye diseases is increasing, there is still a need for ongoing education to promote proactive eye care. Here are some practical tips to help you prioritize your eye health and maintain optimal vision.

Get regular eye exams

Regular eye examinations are fundamental for maintaining optimal vision health.  However, industry reports show that 35% of Canadians only schedule eye exams when they experience vision problems, rather than having routine checkups. Eye exams are crucial not only for assessing visual acuity but also for detecting early signs of eye conditions like glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration, which are more effectively treated when caught early.

Moreover, eye exams can identify systemic health issues such as diabetes and hypertension, which often first present symptoms in the eyes. To ensure optimal eye health, Health Canada advises adults to have an eye exam at least every two years, and recommends annual exams for children and seniors.

Use sunglasses

Contrary to popular belief, sunglasses should be worn not only on sunny days but year-round. UV rays are always present, and prolonged exposure to them can increase the risk of cataracts and other eye conditions. Therefore, the COS recommends consistently wearing sunglasses that offer UV protection.

When choosing sunglasses, look for labels indicating 100% UV protection. Brands like Ray-Ban and Oakley provide stylish frames with complete UV protection. These brands, along with more affordable options like Acrylics frames, are available from online retailer Clearly. These frames can also be customized with polarized lenses for enhanced UV protection and reduced glare.

Shield your eyes from blue light

A survey by ophthalmology company Alcon reveals that Canadians spend almost 11 hours a day on screens, exposing themselves to significant amounts of harmful blue light. Excessive exposure to blue light can cause digital eye strain, with symptoms such as dry eyes, headaches, and blurred vision.

Additionally, blue light at night can disrupt your circadian rhythm and affect sleep quality. To reduce these effects, consider using blue light glasses, like the Oakley Holbrook Prizm Gaming glasses, or installing a blue light blocking app on your phone, particularly If you find yourself using digital devices for more than two hours every day.

Eat foods good for your eyes

Research indicates that foods high in vitamins C and E, zinc, lutein, and omega-3 fatty acids are particularly beneficial for eye health. These nutrients can help prevent age-related vision issues such as macular degeneration and cataracts. Excellent sources of these eye-healthy nutrients include leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale, citrus fruits, nuts, seeds, and fish such as salmon and tuna. Additionally, incorporating colorful fruits and vegetables like carrots and bell peppers can provide antioxidants that protect the eyes from oxidative stress.

Maintaining good vision health can be straightforward. By following the tips mentioned above, you can significantly improve and preserve your eyesight. These simple lifestyle habits can make a substantial difference in preventing future vision problems. As the statistics on vision impairment in Canada indicate, taking proactive steps today can help ensure clear and healthy vision for the long term.

Disclaimer: The guidance provided here serves as general advice and should not substitute professional medical advice. It is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional or specialist for comprehensive information and tailored recommendations. This platform does not assume liability for the accuracy or applicability of the information provided.

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