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VEHC Healthy Vision Month May

May is Healthy Vision Month and the CDC's Vision Health Initiative (VHI) is partnering with the National Eye Institute to encourage all Americans to make vision a health priority. Vision impairment becomes more common as people age. Women, minority groups, and people with chronic diseases like diabetes may be at higher risk for having vision impairment. The number of Americans 40 years and older with diabetic retinopathy and vision threatening retinopathy will triple in 2050; from 5.5 million to 16 million and from 1.2 million to 3.4 million respectively. While some eye conditions, like cataract, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration, can cause vision loss and even blindness, others, such as refractive errors, are common problems that can be easily corrected with glasses or contact lenses.

Vision health is an important public health concern because vision loss is associated with falls, depression, social isolation, and overall poorer health. Quality of life may be comprised because people with vision loss may have difficulties with activities such as reading, meal preparation, and driving a car.

Regular eye exams are important for good eye health as well as overall health. A comprehensive dilated eye exam is a painless procedure in which an eye care professional examines the eyes to look for common vision problems and eye diseases, many of which have no early warning signs. People with diabetes need a comprehensive dilated eye examination at least once a year. Early detection, timely treatment, and appropriate follow-up may prevent vision loss and blindness.

HEALTHY VISION RESOURCES:

1. NEI Healthy Vision Month website. http://www.nei.nih.gov/hvm/

2. NEI recently launched a new series of video resources on the leading eye conditions and diseases affecting many Americans. http://www.nei.nih.gov/videos/

3. NEI tips and tools to help you engage the media in an effort to raise awareness about eye health in your community.

    http://www.nei.nih.gov/hvm/media/

4. NEI tools and resources around eye diseases and conditions. http://www.nei.nih.gov/healthyeyestoolkit/

5. PBA resources on healthy living and healthy vision. http://www.preventblindness.org/healthy_living/

6. American Academy of Ophthalmology resources on eye health and lifestyle.
    http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/living/index.cfm


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