When July comes around most people are in full swing of summer fun, but it is also important to remember our vision during this month. With July comes awareness of the importance of healthy vision. Read on to learn more about basic eye care, prevention over intervention, and what type of vision doctor a person should see if a concern arises.
Healthy Tip Tuesday is brought to you in partnership with Trinity Health Systems
Everyone should seek early vision screenings from a young age. Typically, children begin having screenings once they reach elementary school. However, there may be times to keep a close watch starting as an infant.
- If they have spent time in the NICU. Many preemie babies are screened for potential eye damage due to prolonged periods of time spent in incubators. This is due to the increased oxygen exposure.
- From infancy, a parent or guardian notices their baby is not “tracking” objects or people around the room.
- A child is squinting at the television, tablet, or book even when it is close up.
Tips to prevent vision loss:
- Yearly dilated eye screenings, or more often if the doctor requires it.
- Maintaining stable blood sugar levels. 90% of blindness is due to diabetes, but preventable if blood sugar levels remain stable.
- Know the family’s vision health history.
- Eat a lot of dark leafy greens, carrots, and food with high Omega 3 Fatty Acids such as fish.
- Wear protective eyewear or sunglasses.
- Quit or never start smoking.
- Wash hands before touching eyes.
What is the difference between an optometrist and an ophthalmologist?
- An optometrist completes a 4-year program postgraduate school, and is who a person sees for their yearly vision screens, receives prescriptions thru, and orders glasses and contacts at their office, and minimal surgeries depending on training.
- An ophthalmologist has a full medical degree and is who a person sees for more advanced treatment and surgeries on the eyes, and rehab treatment after surgery. They can also provide basic optometry services. This is who one would go to for more severe eye concerns such as treatment for lazy eyes, eyes that draw inward, or severe vision loss concerns.
An optometrist or primary care doctor is able to refer a person to an ophthalmologist.