Long summer weekends bring the promise of warmth and sunshine shared with family and friends but don’t forget to pack your sunglasses. May is Vision Health Month and many age-related vision problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts can be prevented. One simple precaution against vision damage is to protect the eyes from harmful UVA and UVB rays by wearing good sunglasses.
Cataracts are a clouding of the lens of the eye which over time may affect vision. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of severe vision loss in people over 60. The macula, a small central portion of the retina, can deteriorate over time. Contributing factors of this disease also include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity.
According to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, 75 per cent of vision loss is preventable or treatable. In addition to protecting the eyes from sun damage, regular eye examinations and a healthy lifestyle, including quitting smoking, exercising and eating a healthy diet, can benefit eye health.
Look for sunglasses that block out 99 to 100 per cent of both UVA and UVB rays. Hats offer good protection as well.
For a healthy vision seniors checklist visit cnib.ca/checklist .