3 Common Eye Diseases and How to Prevent Them
First, Know Your Risk Factors for Eye Disease
Understanding how your body works is crucial for your overall health–this includes your ocular health as well. If you or your family have a history of diabetes, high blood pressure, or eye disease of any type, tell your eye doctor. He or she can talk to you about your specific risk factors and how to manage them.
How to Guard Against Dry-Eye Disease
The medical term for dry eye is, keratoconjunctivitis sicca. This happens when your body is not able to make enough tears. This can lead to your eyes becoming swollen, irritated, and red.
One way to avoid this, is to watch your consumption of alcohol, as frequent alcohol use dehydrates the body and makes it work less efficiently in general. Other contributors to dry eye include:
- Exposure to dust, smoke, wind, or low-moisture environments
- Prolonged activities that reduce the rate of blinking (driving, reading, computer use)
- Antihistamines and some other medications–such as diuretics, tranquilizers, and even oral contraceptives–may contribute to lack of tears and eyedryness
The solution? If you’re engaging in activities like reading or computer use, take breaks to engage in extra blinking or close your eyes for a minute. Wear eye protection or use eye drops in hostile environments. And of course, talk to your ophthalmologist or optometrist in one of our three locations if you think you may be developing a problem.
Defending Against Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration is the number one cause of vision loss in patients over 60. If your vision becomes blurry, or you start to see dark, blurry areas in the middle of your vision, these can be warning signs of macular degeneration.
While genetics play a part, there are also things you can do to help slow or prevent macular degeneration. Smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high consumption of saturated fats, and obesity are all contributing factors. Doing your best to manage these factors will help your ocular health, as well as your overall health.
Making sure you have an eye exam every year is another important step. There are several types of treatments–such as pharmaceuticals and various types of laser therapy–which can help if your condition is caught and treated early.
Glaucoma is an eye disease that builds pressure via fluid around the optic nerve. This in turn damages your eye sight. The most insidious thing about glaucoma is that, once the symptoms become apparent, much of the damage is already done.
But, there is still a way to prevent this eye disease before it becomes severe: get a regular eye checkup! Every eye exam includes a test to detect the early stages of glaucoma. As with many other types of eye diseases, the best prevention is a regular eye exam from your eye doctor at Vision Associates.
Guard Against Eye Disease with an Eye Exam at Vision Associates
When it comes to avoiding eye disease, there’s no substitute for an eye exam to catch early symptoms. That’s one reason every eye clinic recommends you get a checkup every year–even if your vision is fine. Visit our contact page to schedule an appointment at one of our three locations.