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How do we maintain a life of prolonged health? We go to the dentist, the doctor, and….the ophthalmologist! Eye care is one of the most essential aspects of living a long, happy life, but yet it is one of the most overlooked avenues when it comes to healthcare. However, did you know that 80% of what we perceive of the world comes from our eyesight alone? So, why not treat it with the utmost importance? In this week’s blog post, we want to highlight ways in which you can maintain healthy eyesight throughout the ages: college, adult, and later life. 

College

It’s no secret, college students spend most of their days staring at their phones and computers. This means students are exposed to hours of blue light and digital screens. Though there is no significant evidence to suggest blue light causes damage to the eyes (according to the AAO), there is evidence that digital screens do. This is because, as we stare for hours at the screen, we often tend to blink less- resulting in eye strain and dry eyes. However, blue light does cause damage to our health. Studies do suggest that prolonged blue light delays the body’s ability to shut down and sleep. 

This is something college students already suffer from: the lack of sleep. This is why we see pictures of students falling asleep on their books in the library, or taking quick cat-naps practically anywhere. It is important to note that sleeping in your contacts, whether it is due to intention, laziness, lack of pre-planned naps or drifting unawarely to sleep, can cause nasty eye infections resulting in scarring and permanent vision loss. If you do, however, find yourself waking up with your contacts still in, it is important to remove them immediately and follow up with an ophthalmologist if your eyes are red or painful. 

Adults

The key to healthy eyes for adults is to keep to routine eye exams. It is recommended that by the age of 40, adults should have a baseline eye screening by an ophthalmologist, even if they have never visited one in the past. 

It is normal to experience Presbyopia, a fairly common blurriness of up close items, most commonly known as “reading” vision. However, if vision becomes significantly more blurry, this can signal a more serious eye condition: Macular Degeneration. Sometimes this is hard to catch, so it is important to visit an ophthalmologist, and attend routine vision screenings. 

Elders and Later Life

Just like our bodies age with time, so do our eyes. As mentioned previously, Macular Degeneration can begin to appear on the “adult” and “later life” radar as a serious eye condition that requires immediate attention. However, this is not the only concern that we should consider as we age. 

Dry eyes are a very common occurrence for many people as they age, but sometimes this can also be a sign of underlying illnesses, such as Rheumatoid Arthritis. The best way to maintain healthy eyes is to attend routine eye exams and keep a close eye (no pun intended) on worsening vision and eye symptoms. 

The key to lasting health? Eye treatment…always!