​​ Vision Health Month
Be proactive about your vision health. For example, when outdoors, use eye wear with UV filters.(Photo: UHN)

​Vision is identified as the primary sense required for a full and productive life.

That's why eye health is so important. Currently, over half a million Canadians are considered visually impaired.

In Canada, the number one cause of vision loss is age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Although age is a major risk factor for AMD, there are other ways that you can reduce your risk of developing the disease as you get older.

"Eating a healthy diet that includes vegetables rich in colour and oily fish such as salmon, can decrease a person's chances of developing AMD in old age," said Dr. Shaun Singer, Director, Comprehensive Ophthalmology, UHN. "Not smoking and wearing UV protective eye wear when playing or working outdoors also goes a long way to preserve your eye health."

May is Vision Health Month – a national awareness campaign designed to educate Canadians about their vision health and eliminate preventable sight loss. The following tips can help maintain healthy eyes as well as reduce your risk of developing AMD or other eye diseases.

  1. Get regular eye checkups. Diseases that are discovered early are often more easily treatable.
  2. Don't smoke.
  3. Wear protective eye wear. When outdoors, use eye wear with UV filters. Wear safety glasses to prevent eye injuries if participating in work, hobbies or sports where they are common.
  4. Eat a healthy diet rich in oily fish and deep coloured vegetables.
  5. Visit your eye doctor right away if you experience any of the following:
    1. Loss of vision in one or both eyes, especially if it happens suddenly
    2. Double vision
    3. pain in your eyes particularly if bright lights makes it worse
  6. Diabetes is also a major cause of vision loss. If you have diabetes reduce your risk of vision loss by controlling blood sugar levels with the help of a family physician and having regular eye examinations so that any issues can be detected and treated early on.

Being proactive about your eye health will reduce your risk of eye disease and help keep your eyes healthy for years to come.​​​

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