Each year, eye diseases, vision disorders, and eyesight loss cost the U.S. economy about $139 billion. One reason for that heavy burden is that millions of Americans have eye problems. Blindness, cataracts, glaucoma, and refractive errors are only a few of such conditions. Fortunately, many vision-related issues are preventable through proper eye care.
Moreover, healthy eyes can help prevent or reduce the risks of other health problems.
That said, we created this guide on how vital optimal eye care is and its many benefits. So read on, as what we’ve shared below can help you maintain your reading ability.
Essential to Early Treatment of Refractive Errors
Refractive errors, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, aren’t preventable. However, they’re easy to diagnose with an eye examination. Moreover, they’re treatable with corrective glasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery.
By contrast, uncorrected refractive errors are leading causes of avoidable vision loss. Worse, some people don’t get it corrected because they don’t notice symptoms immediately.
Therefore, eye care services, including eye checkups, are vital to diagnosing refractive errors. For instance, eye exams allow Lexington eye care specialists to confirm their presence.
Upon diagnosis, optometrists can then develop an appropriate treatment plan. For example, you may need to start wearing corrective glasses or contact lenses. Surgery is often for more severe cases, which can happen if you keep putting off routine eye care.
Minimizes Your Risk of Vision Impairment
Vision impairment is a limitation of at least one of the eyes’ functions. It’s a term often used by eye specialists to refer to low vision or vision loss and can be mild, moderate, or severe. Unfortunately, it’s also prevalent; an estimated 12 million U.S. adults aged 40 years and older have it.
Even worse, no method can correct low vision and improve it to a “normal” level. Eyeglasses, contact lenses, and even surgery can’t help.
However, some of the common causes of vision impairment are treatable. And by treating such conditions, eye doctors can help reduce their risk of causing low vision.
A perfect example is a cataract, characterized by a cloudy spot in one or both eyes. It can result in vision impairment, which, if left uncorrected, can lead to blindness. The good news is that it is treatable with cataract surgery.
Glaucoma, which damages the optic nerve, is another leading cause of vision impairment. It often stems from increased internal pressure in the eye due to fluids. Medications and surgery can treat it, which, in turn, can minimize vision loss.
That said, getting regular eye care services and check-ups can help keep you away from low vision. After all, if you visit an optometrist regularly, they can stay on top of your eye health. They can then catch potential eye diseases, such as cataracts or glaucoma and treat them ASAP.
Reduces Your Odds of Blindness
Half of all blindness cases are preventable. One reason is that many causes of blindness are also preventable and treatable. Thus, eye care is an essential intervention that can help you maintain good eye health and vision.
As with low vision, cataracts and glaucoma are leading causes of blindness. Likewise, uncorrected refractive errors can lead to blindness. Age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy are also treatable causes of blindness.
Aids in Reducing Accident and Injury Risks
Approximately 80% to 85% of our actions, perceptions, and learning start from our eyes.
Whenever our eyes perceive information, it sends a message to our brain for analysis. The brain then sends signals to the correct system, say the muscles in your hands and legs, to respond to what you see. For the same reason, our vision allows us to maintain good balance, which is also vital to mobility.
Therefore, if your eyes fail, you might lose some sense of depth and distance. That can be dangerous, especially when you go up and down the stairs, drive, or use a knife while preparing meals.
For example, studies found a correlation between visual acuity and fall risk. After all, if your eyes can’t make out shapes and details, you may miscalculate your step. And if you’re going up or down the stairs, that can lead to you missing a step, losing your balance, and falling.
Falls, in turn, can result in cuts, bruises, sprains, strains, and fractures. They can also lead to concussions and traumatic brain injuries.
All that makes seeing an eye doctor for optimal eye care crucial, especially as you age. This allows your optometrist to see any negative changes in your visual system. And if there is, then they can start with your treatment before you experience vision loss.
Eye Health Impacts Your Mental Health
Scientists continue to find undeniable relationships between eye health and mental health. For example, one study looked at the likelihood of a mental illness in those with a vision impairment. It found that impaired vision can make a person four times more likely to suffer mental health woes.
Anxiety and depression, in turn, were two of the cited mental illnesses in the study.
Those findings are entirely understandable, considering vision relates to almost everything we do. So by losing that, it can interfere with nearly all our actions and activities. The inability to do what we need or love to do, in turn, can take a toll on our mental health.
So, while eye care alone won’t prevent mental illness, it may cut your risks by keeping you away from vision loss.
That’s How Vital Eye Care Is
And there you have it, the crucial facts you need to know about the importance of eye care. Now you know it can help you catch and treat eye diseases early. That, in turn, can preserve your eyesight and also lower your risk for falls and other health woes.
Are you ready to see a Lexington eye care specialist to help keep your vision in top condition? Then please know that the experts at the Kentucky Eye Institute are happy to help! So call us now for all your eye health needs and concerns.