Look After Your Eyes!
Joe Lovett was a scared man. Eyesight was important to his profession, which was making documentary films. But, glaucoma threatened to destroy his most precious gift, his eyesight. He is not alone. Most Americans also fear losing the power of their eyes.
To alert fellow Americans about the importance of their eyes, Lovett made a documentary titled “Going Blind”. This film features six persons who lost their eyesight due to injury or disease. The scary part is a nationwide survey reveals that only a small minority of Americans who are at risk of losing their eyesight, get access to regular eye exams. The survey revealed that 86% of people with an existing eye disease do not get access to routine exams.
Experts predict that America’s aging population faces the threats of diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration which could impair the eyesight of about 61 million Americans.
Eye Exams Not Covered
Blindness and bad vision have many social, occupational and medical consequences. Many elderly people fall and break their hips and other body parts. But, the sad part is many health insurers do not cover eye exams. Even the new law for health care does not include eye exams and rehabilitation for vision loss.
Benefits of Eye Checkup
But, even those who can afford the cost of periodical eye exams do not care to do so. Most fear losing their vision, and suffer from depression as a result. Many people worry blindness could affect their ability to drive, read and work. However, regular eye checkups can facilitate early detection of eye diseases, which could be treated by therapy. People most at risk are those with cardiovascular diseases, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Other people who also need regular eye checkups include smokers and those who have a family history of eye disorders such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy or macular degeneration. Smokers in fact face a much higher risk of suffering from macular degeneration. Regular eye checkups can also reveal the existence of other health conditions such as brain tumors, multiple sclerosis and diabetes.
Children Should Get Tested Too
Eye experts advocate that elementary school children should also check their near vision in addition to distance vision. 33% of school children in New York City have vision problems, which could affect their behavior and learning.
Start Early to Detect Early
Annual eye checkups should start at the age of 20. Waiting until you suffer symptoms is not advisable. For instance, glaucoma works stealthily to rob eyesight from the early stages. It may take up to 10 years to detect a eye disease, which could be too late.
Aids for Vision Loss
Technology has ensured that there is a wide variety of visual aids available for the vision impaired. These include large picture CCTVs, book readers, computers that can read documents aloud and large-print music. Joe Lovett, meanwhile, is reassured that he can cope with eye problems after producing his documentary. Regular treatments have slowed down his glaucoma and he is able to work and ride his bike too.