For more information on eye health and safety topics or for a referral to an ophthalmologist, please contact the MiSEPS Executive offices at 1-313-823-1000 or admin@MiSEPS.org.
Some Eye Disease Facts
- Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States, and the most common cause of blindness among African Americans. More than three million people have glaucoma, but half do not realize it because there are often no warning symptoms.
- Approximately 16 million people in the United States have diabetes and one-third of them do not know it. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness among adults and people with diabetes are 25 times more likely to become blind than people without it. By detecting and treating diabetic retinopathy early through annual, dilated eye exams, people with diabetes can preserve their sight.
- Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in people 65 years or older in the United States. It affects more than 10 million Americans according to the National Eye Institute.
By age 65, one in three Americans has some form of vision-impairing eye disease. Most do not know it because there are often no warning symptoms, or they assume that poor sight is a natural part of growing older.
Blindness and vision loss are preventable.
Top Tips for Children's Eye Health
Research shows that children's eyes- just like their skin - can be damaged from too much exposure to the sun.
"Excess sun exposure can increase your child's risks of ocular diseases, such as, cataract, age-related macular degeneration, and eyelid cancers and can be avoided with sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat. Avoid excess sun between the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and don't be fooled by the clouds," says Doctor Arezo Amirikia, ophthalmologist with the Michigan Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons."
Ophthalmologists recommend that both adults and children follow these steps to keep their eyes healthy:
1. Make sure your kids wear 100 percent UV and UV-B blocking sunglasses.
Luckily, the ability to block UV light is not dependent on the price tag— you can purchase 100 percent UV protective sunglasses quite inexpensively. When shopping, don’t focus on the color or darkness of the lenses since it doesn't indicate their ability to block harmful ultraviolet rays. Look for sunglasses with a polycarbonate lens; Children under six may need a pair with straps to keep them in place.
2. Summertime sun - stay out of the sun during the peak times.
we all know, peak damage time for skin from exposure to the sun is the middle
of the day. The same is true for eyes. Keep children out of the sun when UV
rays are the strongest - between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. And if that’s not possible,
wearing 100 percent UV and UV-B sunglasses becomes even more critical during
3. Don’t rub when sand gets in your eyes.
If sand gets in your child's eyes, no rubbing! Rubbing even a little can irritate the thin corneal tissue that covers your eyes, making symptoms worse. To remove the sand from the eyes, encourage the child to blink — even crying will help, as the tears will remove the irritants (though it may be hard on mom and dad!) If the eye is still irritated after the sand seems to have been removed, seek medical attention from an eye MD/ophthalmologist.
4. Wear protective eye wear when playing sports.
Tens of thousands of sports and recreation related eye injuries occur each year. The good news is that 90 percent of serious eye injuries are preventable through the use of protective eye wear. While helmets are required for many organized sports like baseball, protective eye wear unfortunately is not. For all age groups, sports related eye injuries occur most frequently in baseball, basketball and racquet sports.Sports eye protection should meet the specific requirements of that sport; these requirements are usually established and certified by the sport's governing body and/or the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).