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Vision is one of the most precious gifts we have. A majority of our daily activities rely heavily upon our ability to see clearly. Good eye health is key to an active lifestyle.The eye itself does not actually see objects. Instead, it acts much like a camera recording objects. Light enters the eye through the lens and hits the retina at the back of the eye. The retina changes light into nerve signals so that brain can interpret the objects.Retaining good eye health and vision long term means practicing preventive eye care from the earliest years of life. Infants and toddlers should be screened for common eye problems during regular visits to the pediatrician. Vision screenings should begin at age 3. Most children and teens have healthy eyes, but need to protect them during activities such as playing sports or doing yard work. Adults should have an eye exam on the following schedule:
Ages 20-29 – 1 time
Ages 30-39 – 2 times
Ages 40-65 - every two to four years
After age 65, adults should have thorough eye exams every one to two years.
During these exams they should be checked for cataracts, glaucoma, age related macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy. Nutrition and eye health go hand in hand. While eating carrots alone won’t ensure eye health, proper diet and nutrition will provide eyes with the necessary nutrients to function properly. In addition to a proper diet, natural supplements have shown promise in promoting good eye health. Beta carotene (Vitamin A) is a powerful antioxidant working to rid the eyes of free radicals which can cause damage. Lutein helps form the pigment at the center of the retina. Studies indicate it may be helpful in preventing cataracts and macular degeneration. Lycopene shows similar promise. Bilberry extract was first discovered to improve night vision but is now commonly used to support treatment for glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration.
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