Camera: Canon Powershot G11
Focal Length: 13.8mm
Getting a yearly dilated eye exam is a critical part of your healthcare. Perhaps it is because vision science is the field I work in which makes me acutely aware of all the things that can and do go wrong with people’s eyes. So, I think about this quite a bit. To prevent any problems before they get bigger and lead to vision loss, it is important to have your eyes regularly checked.
When we’re younger, typically the things we need to worry about are making sure we are fit and healthy and set healthy routines to prevent accelerated age changes to our eyes down the road. This means no smoking (including those stupid e-cigarettes), eating a healthy diet with lots of leafy, green veggies and fish, making sure you get exercise and keeping your blood pressure normal and finally protecting your eyes with sunglasses and safety eyewear when working around equipment and when playing sports. Poor diet, fitness and lifestyle choices are common causes of vision loss later in life, resulting in more advanced onset of diseases that are commonly seen in much older people.
As we get older, the things that commonly cause vision loss in people are cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Cataracts can be treated in most cases by removal of the old lens and replacing it with an artificial lens. Its not quite as good as the original, but it works pretty well. However, the other major eye diseases, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and AMD are less well treated. We have some drugs and some surgeries for some forms of glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and wet forms of AMD, but no treatment or therapy of any kind that recovers vision, once it is lost. This of course is a very hot field in science right now, trying to find cures or treatments for vision loss, but until we come up with appropriate treatments, take care of your eyes and get regular dilated eye exams.