Did you know that glaucoma affects more than 2.2 million Americans who are over 40? And another 2 million people have the disease and don’t know it. And when it comes to cataracts, 20.5 million people are affected — and more than half of us have them by age 80.
Those are alarming numbers, but when it comes to eye health, there’s plenty that we can do to avoid vision problems. And even though sometimes a condition like cataracts or glaucoma can’t be avoided, the effects can be minimized by prevention and awareness.
For instance, with glaucoma it’s all about early detection. See your eye doctor every couple of years if you’re under 40, and more often after that. Everyone’s different, so ask your eye doctor how often you should be examined — and then follow that advice.
Likewise, cataracts aren’t always avoidable, but regular eye exams can help detect them early. If you’re a smoker, lessen your risk of developing them by kicking the habit. Other good preventative measures include moderating alcohol consumption, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and taking it easy on sun exposure.