We have now reached a point in history where more cases of blindness and severe visual impairment occur because people are not able to access treatment rather than because treatment does not exist. Our eyes are our primary sense organs and our ability to look after them – often with very simple treatments – has advanced spectacularly. Sadly, not everybody who is in a position to take advantage of this does so. If you’re not yet getting regular eye checks, or if you’ve developed a habit of ignoring minor problems, it’s time to think again and understand how important this is to protecting your eyesight for the future.
Common eye problems
Minor eye infections like styes are commonplace and go away by themselves within a couple of days in most people, but if problems linger you can get help from your doctor or pharmacist. Dry eyes affect most people at one time or another and you can get eye drops to soothe them but they may indicate general dehydration issues that you need to address. More serious problems like glaucoma or cataracts require attention from an optician, so you should always seek help if your vision deteriorates.
Eating more healthily, drinking more water, quitting smoking and wearing shades in sunny weather can all help to protect your eyes and reduce the risk of complications like these.
Poor eyesight: your options
Being shortsighted, long-sighted or astigmatic used to mean having to wear glasses. When contact lenses came along, they revolutionized many people’s lives, but it’s still the case that a lot of people don’t realize how many different types there are and how different they are. If you’ve tried them before and they haven’t worked for you, it may well be worth trying again. These days, there’s also the option of laser surgery as well, and good Denver eye surgeons who can advise you on its suitability for you.
Why good eye care matters
In the past, people often used to accept deteriorating vision as a natural consequence of old age, but today the vast majority of people can live out their lives still able to read, watch TV and enjoy life, as long as they get the right care. Because a lot of eye problems don’t cause pain, however, and because it can be difficult to notice vision problems that develop slowly, it’s wise to visit an optician at least once a year for a check-up. Some kinds of chronic illness, like diabetes, mean you should go more often, so ask your optician for advice if you have any concerns. With many types of problem, prompt intervention can prevent serious impairment from developing.
Eye examinations can also reveal early signs of other types of illness, such as kidney or liver disease, so regular checks can help you to be more confident about your general health and, gain, get help early if you need it.
If you have any discomfort around eye tests, whether physical or psychological, just talk to your optician. Often small adjustments can be made to make things much easier for you. Don’t neglect your eyes – your vision, like the rest of you, is worth looking after.