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Making routine eye care a priority

Posted on Feb. 12, 2021 ( comments)

The health of your eyes is important enough to merit an annual eye exam. If you don’t believe me just close them for the rest of the day and try to get anything done. Regardless of your day to day activities your eyes are playing a crucial role in your ability to function and until you have that first eye exam you may not be aware that your visual experience isn’t as good as it otherwise could be. 

Having two eyes is a wonderful system but it can also give a false sense of security. As you go about your life with both eyes open, conditions affecting only one of your eyes can go unnoticed as the good eye masks the problem of the other. Keegan Bench, Optometrist at MultiCare Rockwood, cautions that “children are especially susceptible to this issue as they often will assume that having “one good eye” is normal and will not bring this issue up to their parents. Having the opportunity to test each eye individually along with their ability to work as a team each year is a great way to keep quality of life high”. Waiting until your eyes begin to “bother” you is not an ideal approach to safeguarding such a priceless asset. 

Comprehensive annual eye exams are necessary to find eye diseases in the early stages when treatments are more effective. According to the CDC, “of the estimated 93 million US adults at high risk for vision loss, only half visited an eye doctor in the past 12 months. Regular eye care can have a life-changing impact on preserving the vision of millions of people.” Just as you (hopefully) visit your dentist every 6 months for cleanings, visiting an eye doctor annually should be on your to-do list.  

Protecting your vision doesn’t need to be a difficult, complex task. Getting regular eye exams, eating a healthy diet, including leafy greens such as spinach or kale, and maintain a healthy weight, knowing your family’s eye health history, and wearing sunglasses that block out 99 to 100 percent of UV-A and UV-B radiation (the sun’s rays) are easy ways to ensure you’re taking care of your eyes. Additionally, in this digital age, it’s important to manage your screentime to protect your eyes from getting tired. Try the 20-20-20 rule to reduce eyestrain: every 20 minutes, look away about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds.

Though technologies continue to improve, the eyes are still not something that can be replaced and though we have two of them, keeping them both healthy and happy will provide the best outlook on life. If you still don’t trust me you know what to do… I’ll let you choose which eye to close this time.

New year, new you, new commitment to your eye care! Schedule your annual eye check-up today:

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Taylor Shewchuk
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