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This or That: Maintaining Your Eyesight

365 days can manifest a great deal that you might not be able to set your sights on quite yet. Don’t wait until you can’t see it to believe it.

Quiz yourself in a quick “This or That!” and see where you stand when it comes to maintaining your eyesight and what’s worth *looking* into for your eye health before 2022.

What age group is likely to develop an eye concern within 1 year?

  • THIS — 10-20 years old

  • THAT — 50-60 years old

Did you pick 10-20 years old? You are correct!

The focus of children and young adults is their education. They spend five days a week and several hours a day turning pages in textbooks and staring at computer screens. The small fonts in books and bright screens place a significant claim on visual abilities which can turn into a challenge if not appropriately addressed.

When they’re not training their brains in the classroom, they’re often training their bodies on a court or on a field. This is a realm where healthy eyes are just as important to enable high performance.

Eye issues that can hinder focus, visual acuity and other crucial visual skills are just as likely to develop within one year for children, teens, and young adults as they are for older individuals.

If you chose 50-60 years old, you are also right.

Regardless of overall health, adults often start developing vision problems 10 years prior to this age range. Eyes will begin to lose ability to focus, to produce tears and to recognize the difference between certain shades of color. These visual frustrations along with several others can worsen within the course of a year causing daily activities to become monumental tasks when suffering causes of certain vision-related problems.

Which form of smoking causes an issue in eye health?

  • THIS — Smoking Cigarettes

  • THAT — Smoking Vapes

This is yet another question where both responses are true.

Quitting smoking cigarettes is a very strong step in the right direction! Still, it can often lead to simply replacing the disposable pack with a refillable vape. There is a commonly made assumption that vaping is not as harmful to the body as smoking cigarettes. Since those assumptions have been determined as false, new vape products are showing up, highlighting their regression of nicotine to present the product as “healthier”.

While nicotine removal from vapes is a thoughtful move, it is important to understand that they—along with cigarettes and original vapes— still contain chemicals that could pose health risks to your eyes.

Some of the most harmful eye issues from smoking include increased risk of cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. If you are a smoker, have recently quit or have intentions to quit in the future, make a yearly visit to your optometrist a top priority.

What can lead to a vision impairing eye complication?

  • THIS — Daily use of unprescribed (OTC) eye drops

  • THAT — Forgetting to remove contact lenses

Let’s start with this question with “that”. If you’re a contact wearer, sleeping in contacts should only be done if approved by your eye doctor. For most, chances are you’ve been advised to not keep your lenses in all day and all night. Sleeping with contacts in is still a common mistake. This can lead to several different types of bacterial infections that can cause permanent scarring, a need for eye surgery, and last but certainly not least, loss of sight.

The complications that can arrive from overuse of over the counter (OTC) eye drops are different but still play a role in vision impairing scenes. OTC eye drops can come in handy! However, many of the eye drops offered over the counter contain strong preservatives that can also degrade the quality of your cornea and eyesight. Using them daily can also over dilate blood vessels in the eye and hinder more serious problems from being recognized and professionally treated. If you feel the need to use these drops daily, ask your eye doctor what the most appropriate drop should be for your condition.

At this point, we’re sure you’ve gotten the gist! Both this and that are right answers. Now is the time to make use of your remaining end of year health benefits and schedule an appointment with one of our practice ODs for a comprehensive eye exam and walk into the new year with clarity.

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