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Check early, see clearly

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As we begin a new year, I am sure you have set new goals for 2012. Remember to set some goals for your eye health.

Did you know that every 5 seconds someone somewhere around the world goes blind? Also, every minute a child somewhere in the world goes blind.{{more}}

According to WHO estimates:

About 314 million people are visually impaired worldwide; 45 million of them are blind.

Most people with visual impairment are older, and females are more at risk at every age, in every part of the world.

About 87% of the world’s visually impaired live in developing countries.

The number of people blinded by infectious diseases has been greatly reduced, but age-related impairment is increasing.

Cataract remains the leading cause of blindness globally, except in the most developed countries.

Correction of refractive errors could give normal vision to more than 12 million children (ages five to 15).

About 85% of all visual impairment is avoidable globally.

Going into 2010….Here are 10 ways you can look after your eyes:

1. Eat Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants and Vitamins.

• Take Multivitamins eg. Ocuvite/ ICaps

• Don’t forget to drink WATER.

2. Get an Eye Exam, No Matter Your Age

Get an eye examination at least once every two years,

• Some people may need more frequent examinations.

3. Protect your eyes from the sun

• Harmful UV-A and UV-B light can cause Cataracts, Pterygium and Skin Cancer.

Also UV rays come from highly reflective surfaces. Use a UV filter, such as Sunglasses.

4. Exercise

Routine exercise improves your blood circulation and oxygen, which in turn improve eye performance. Strive to exercise for at least 20 to 30 minutes a day.

5. Wash Your Hands Frequently and Don’t Rub your eyes!!

Washing your hands frequently greatly reduces your risk of eye infections.

Do not rub your eyes, especially when wearing contact lenses.

6. Use Computers cautiously

Working at the computer all day is a physically demanding job.

This can affect your mental and physical well-being and can impact on productivity.

Here are some tips to prevent problems:

• Avoid Glare

• Check your Posture

• Blink frequently. Use Lubricants

• 20/20 rule – Every 20 minutes, look 20ft away for 20 seconds

• Avoid air drafts

• Use special coatings on glasses.

7. Stop smoking

• Smoking has been strongly linked to the development of age-related macular degeneration and Cataracts.

8. Manage Your Chronic disease

Diabetics, Hypertensives, glaucoma patients and people with chronic diseases should check more frequently.

9. Use Eye Protection

Many high-risk occupations, such as welding, use of chemicals, use of weed whackers and lawnmowers require safety eyewear. Also, high impact sports activities such as racquetball, squash, tennis and even basketball require the use of safety eyewear..

10. Check Your Medication

Know your medication. Know the side effects and proper dosage.

Tell your ophthalmologist about any medications you are taking at each visit.

Follow these tips and you will enjoy great eye-sight for many years to come.

Have a Happy New Year.

Dr Kenneth Onu is a resident Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Beachmont Eye Institute/Eyes R Us Send questions to: Beachmont@gmail.com

Tel: 784 456-1210

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