Your eyes are one of the most important parts of your body. Would you say that you really know how to take care of them? Could you recognize an imminent problem and identify it? Do you see your opthamologist every 6-12 for routine check ups?
These are basic questions that a Harris Poll recently asked on behalf of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). The expectation was that the majority would be knowledgeable and know the answers. However, the poll results were surprising and worrisome.
Your Eyes: Harris Poll Results
The Harris Poll canvassed more than 3500 hundred adults for this survey. More than 80 percent said they were up to speed about eye health and could recognize various issues. However, the actual results showed that their purported knowledge was really non-existent and dismal.
Less than 20 percent could identify the three main causes of blindness in the United States. Only 3 percent were able to identify all of the common threats to eye health. And only a paltry 11 percent were aware of all of the early signs of vision loss. Clearly, concluded the Harris Poll, “there’s quite a disparity between what people think they know and what they actually do know”.
But, here’s the alarming news: Only 37 percent were aware that you don’t always experience symptoms before losing vision to eye disease. Glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic eye disease — the three main causes of vision loss — can cause damage without you even realizing it.
Right now, approximately 12 million people age 40 and older in the U.S. have vision impairment. But, only 37 percent of those polled knew that vision loss is not “inevitable” as we age. Many of those polled believe that a decreased vision over time is just part of the normal aging process. But, this is really not the case.
Most of time, all you really need are reading glasses or a brighter light.Indeed, reading up on the major eye diseases and how to recognize their symptoms can only help you. Also, here are a few tips that will help you continue to see clearly and lower your risk of future vision problems.
Your Eyes: Stop! Smoking
Smoking can kill your eyesight. Several studies have found links between puffing and age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.
Your Eyes: The Sun Is Not Your Friend
Daily UV exposure ups your chances of getting cataracts. Look for shades that offer 100 percent UVA- and UVB-blocking protection. And if you’re in proximity to airborne materials — whether it’s while cutting wood, mulching or mowing the grass — consider safety glasses or protective goggles.