April Awareness Bulletin
April 18, 2012 Leave a comment
Women’s Eye Health & Sports Eye Safety Month
Submitted by Lighthouse Volunteer,
April has been designated as the month to raise awareness of two important eye safety issues, Women’s Eye Health and Sports Eye Safety.
Did you know that women have a greater risk of vision problems than men? According to studies by Prevent Blindness America and the National Eye Institute, more women than men are diagnosed with eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy every year. Contributing factors are hormonal fluctuations which cause dry eye syndrome and the fact that women generally tend to live longer than men. Two thirds of the visually impaired and blind individuals in America are women.
What can women do to try and keep their eyes healthy? They can:
- Get regular comprehensive eye exams.
- Quit smoking–even second hand smoke can increase the risk of eye disease.
- Wear UV eye protection when outdoors. UV rays are very dangerous to the eyes.
- Eat healthy–carrots, dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, spinach and omega-3 fatty acids all can help to maintain eye health.
- Know your family history. Because genetics plays a key role in eye disease, let your eye professional know of any eye diseases that run in your family.
Another eye danger that affects women and men as well as children is sport injuries. The American Academy of Ophthalmology reports that more than 40,000 eye injuries are caused each year by sports and recreational activities. Sport injuries include blunt trauma, which is the most common, cuts to your eye, and radiation injuries from exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun.
Yet, according to prevent Blindness America, 90% of these sports related eye injuries can be prevented by wearing appropriate protective gear such as plastic sports eye guards, helmets, face masks and plastic glasses with UV protection. Today more professional athletes use eye guards. Two of the best known athletes who have worn eye protection are basketball players, Horace Grant, a champion player with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who won six NBA championships playing with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers.
While professional athletes and amateur athletes are at risk for eye injuries, one third of eye accidents each year happen to children ages 5 to 14 years. The most common are those involved with rough play, but toys can also hurt the eye. Of most concern are missile toys, toys with detachable parts or hard edges, slingshots, BB guns and fireworks.
It is vital that parents, teachers, school nurses and coaches know about the eye injury risks before permitting children to participate in sports. It is suggested that parents consult with an eye doctor for a protective eyewear recommendation before allowing a child to engage in sports activities. It also is important for children who play outdoors to wear UV protection.
Eyesight is a precious gift. Don’t put yourself or your loved ones at risk needlessly. Get regular dilated eye exams, wear eye protection when needed and make the health of your eyes a lifetime priority.
This message is brought to you by the Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind.
The Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind offers free adaptive training for persons who are blind and visually impaired of all ages, living in Pasco, Hernando and Citrus Counties. Please spread the word about our programs, stay up-to-date with our newsletter, and also help us increase resources to meet the need for services. Please contact the Lighthouse for more information:
Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind
Pasco: 8610 Galen Wilson Blvd., Port Richey, FL 34668, Phone: (727) 815-0303
Hernando: 6492 California St., Brooksville, FL 34604, Phone: (352) 754-1132
Citrus: Toll free: 1-866-962-5254