Looking forward: May is Vision Health Month

May 1, 2023

The eyes are not just the windows to the soul – they’re also very valuable windows into the general health of your body as a whole. 

In other words, eye care is health care. 

That’s why the Canadian Association of Optometrists has declared May Vision Health Awareness Month – thirty-one days dedicated to spreading info about eye health, as well as ways to prevent vision loss. 

Time to Get EyeWise

The campaign, which calls on Canadians to “Get EyeWise”, is meant to encourage regular vision care, as well as draw attention to many aspects of vision that we often overlook. 

For example, did you know that 1 in 7 Canadians will develop a serious eye disease in their lifetime? Yet 75% of vision loss can be prevented or treated with proper, regular care. 

A comprehensive eye exam can also detect potentially life threatening conditions, like brain tumors, high blood pressure, and diabetes – even before you notice any symptoms. 

Regular Eye Exams: A “Bird’s Eye View”

A regular eye exam by a doctor of optometry is the best way to stay on top of your eye health. Here’s a little break down of what you can expect:

A “sight test” or “visual screening” is also called a refraction, and it measures a person’s ability to see an object at a given distance. It’s used to determine a prescription for glasses or contact lenses. Refraction can’t be used to diagnose eye or vision problems, however. 

For that, you’ll need a comprehensive eye exam.

A comprehensive eye exam can do more than test your vision — it could help detect potentially life threatening conditions, like high blood pressure, diabetes, and brain tumors. How frequently you need to be seen depends on your optometrist’s assessment of: ocular disease, systemic disease, or medication associated with potential risk to your eye health.

The final phase of your eye exam involves the optometrist’s professional knowledge to diagnose any conditions, diseases, or disorders of the eye and, if required, determine the best treatment plan. 

Treatment options could include a prescription for glasses or contacts, eye drops, ongoing monitoring, eye training exercises, or even a referral for more complex issues.

It’s never too early to get your eyes checked!

Did you know close to 25% of school-age children have vision problems? Many grow out of them but it’s important to have your child’s eyes examined by an optometrist before beginning school, or as soon as you notice any issues (for example, crossed eyes, or an eye that wanders or rolls in more than the other.)

For more info on Vision Health Month and eye care in general, visit https://opto.ca/vision-health-month