March is the Save Your Vision Month. This national observance aims to educate people the value of taking care of their eyes and vision.
It's sad that we spend a lot of money taking care of our body, whether for health or aesthetic reasons, but we take our vision for granted. We assume that it will simply experience some problems while we age. But this is where we are wrong. If we take our vision for granted not only will it not give up on us in the future but we might suffer even now.
What then do we need to change in our lifestyle to ensure that we have got a healthy eyes and good vision today and in the future?
Getting a regular and comprehensive eye examination is very important. An eye exam does not mean simply looking and testing yourself with the eye chart or the pupil dilation. According to American Optometric Association, advanced technology has given the eye doctors a lot of new aids in the form of high-tech medical instruments and equipment in detection and prevention of eye-related diseases. Although the eye chart is used to measure the visual acuity of a person in a standard eye exam there are now so many high-tech tests and procedures using less invasive medical instruments that can give highly accurate diagnosis.
Retinal imaging, corneal topography, and tear film analyses are just some of the new high-tech tools that optometrists are including in their tests and procedures.
The retina is the part of the eye that senses light and sends the images to your brain. Retinal imaging takes pictures of the back of the eyes which includes the retina. This progressive medical instrument is used by optometrists to get wide-angle views of the retina. There are different types of retinal imaging which includes color and black and white photography in a film or digital format. This technology aids optometrist to detect and treat eye problems such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, retinal holes or detachments as well as systemic diseases such as diabetes, stroke and high blood pressure. In addition with pupil dilation, these high-tech medical instruments give eye doctors a bigger part of the eye to assess at one time. The retinal imaging test can help eye doctors see if the current status of the disease, if it's getting worse or whether the treatment is working. It is not supposed to replace eye examination.
The cornea is the clear part of the front of the eye and is responsible for about 70 percent of the eye's focusing power. Corneal topography or photokeratoscopy or videokeratography is a non-invasive process for mapping the surface curvature of the cornea just like when making a contour map of a land. Through this process a detailed description of the shape and power of the cornea is produced. This is done in order to detect corneal irregularities due to disease, trauma and other factors that can distort the vision. The high-tech computerized imaging technology is used to produce the 3-dimensional map which is then use by the eye doctors diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of corneal curvature abnormalities and diseases. It is commonly used in preparation for a refractive eye surgery as well as to aid in the fitting of contact lenses. It is not meant to replace a comprehensive eye examination but in conjunction with other tests.
The tear film analysis has been used to analyze the effect of tears on the optical quality of the eyes. Recent advances such as computerized analysis of the tear lipid layer makes determining and detection of the causes of dry eye easier and thus the identification of the best course of treatment for the patient.
It is important to have healthy eyes and maintain good vision and so it is a must to take care of it. Aside from regular and comprehensive eye examinations, a healthy lifestyle is imperative. This includes balanced healthy diet, exercise, quit smoking, wearing of sunglasses when outdoors and protective eye wear when doing dangerous tasks.