Quick – what’s the first thing you think of in May? Spring flowers, Mother’s Day and graduations, right? At Oregon Eye Specialists, we want you to know that May is also Healthy Vision Month. The National Eye Institute, part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, established it in 2003 to raise awareness of eye disease and vision problems around the nation.
Millions of people in the U.S. don’t get regular eye exams or the care they need to keep their eyes healthy. Why? Here’s what we’ve heard:
- I don’t wear glasses or contacts, so I don’t need my eyes checked.”
- “No one in our family has eye problems.”
- “I don’t have vision insurance.”
- “My eyes have been bothering me, but I’m not sure where to go.”
Many eye diseases, including amblyopia (lazy eye) in children and glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration in adults, cause no symptoms at first. Without regular dilated eye exams, you or your family members could suffer permanent vision loss or even blindness. A dilated eye exam allows your eye doctor to see inside the entire eye to check for problems. It does not hurt and can save your sight. Plus, you get those fancy disposable sunglasses to wear home.
So how often do you need a dilated eye exam? It might be less often than you think.
In your 20s: At least 1 exam
In your 30s: At least 2 exams
Adults 40 to 54: Every 2 to 4 years
Adults 55 to 64: Every 1 to 3 years
Adults 65 and up: Every 1 to 2 years
Check our eye exam guide to learn when you and other family members need your eyes checked.
With summer activities and travel coming up, May is the perfect time to make sure your eyes are at their best. Celebrate Healthy Vision Month by:
- Scheduling a general eye exam for each member of your family, including your kids, spouse or partner and even your parents. Their eyes will thank you!
- Giving Mom the gift of better vision for Mother’s Day. Make an eye appointment for your mother, grandmother, mother-in-law or someone close to you. Help her get to the appointment, if necessary. If she needs glasses, help her pick out new frames
- Making sure everyone in your family has sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection for summer sports and activities.
- Wearing protective eyewear when you work around the house and yard, or at work if necessary. Ask your eye doctor or optician about your options for safety and good vision.
Learn more with free eye health and vision info from the National Eye Institute:
- What happens at a dilated eye exam?
- Healthy eyes at 40, 50 – and beyond
- Fun eye facts for kids
- Financial help for eye exams and glasses
How much do you know about eye health?