May is Healthy Vision Month: Protect Your Vision!

With everyone relying on their gadgets to stay connected to school, work and loved ones over the internet during the pandemic, spending long hours looking at screens will damage our eyes, making it blurry over time.

But it’s not only prolonged use of devices can affect our eyes that can lead to blurriness or worse, blindness.

According to the American Diabetes Association, approximately 600,000 people in Hawaii have prediabetes or diabetes, which affects many areas of the body including the eyes.

An estimated 37 million American adults have age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataract, glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy. This affects 40% to 45% of diabetes patients and is the leading cause of new cases of blindness.

In celebration of Healthy Vision Month this May, the Hawaiian Eye Center encourages everyone to take care of their eyesight and visit an ophthalmologist for an eye exam. Early detection of eye diseases is crucial for early prevention.

“If you’re 40 and over, get a comprehensive dilated eye exam every two to three years from your eye care professional,” said Dr. Steve Rhee of Hawaiian Eye Center.

“[But] if you’re 60 and over or have diabetes, get an eye exam once a year.”

Aside from visiting your eye doctor, keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol in check can help to decrease your risk of developing eye diseases. Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet and exercising regularly is a good start to a healthier eyesight.

Eating locally grown fruits and vegetables such as water cress, taro greens, bok choy, mangoes, carrots, papaya and sweet potatoes are a good way to give our body antioxidants and nutrients.

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