In an effort to draw attention to the importance of eye care, The Eye Clinic and KPLC TV are observing Eye Care Month in January, and are encouraging individuals to make eye health a priority for themselves and their families.
Americans are living longer than ever before, and as people age, their risk of developing vision threatening diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy increases. According to statistics from the National Eye Institute, an estimated 80 million Americans have a potentially blinding eye disease. By 2030, the number of blind and visually impaired people in the United States is expected to double if regular eye exams don't become a routine part of preventive care. "It is extremely important to have your eyes checked on a regular basis," says ophthalmologist Alan Lacoste, MD. "Many of the most common forms of eye disease can be successfully diagnosed and treated when detected in the early stages. If not caught in time, these diseases can lead to vision loss and blindness. In addition, signs of other health problems, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, can often be detected during dilated eye exams."
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends a complete medical eye examination for healthy adults at least once between age 19 and 29; at least twice between age 30 and 39; and every two to four years between age 40 and 64. Younger children, senior citizens, diabetics and people with high risk factors for eye disease should require more frequent exams.
The Eye Clinic is offering free screenings for vision, glaucoma and cataracts by appointment at all locations in January, along with special savings on ophthalmic quality sunglasses and contact lens fitting exams to encourage better eye health. In addition, an online Eye Q quiz is available to test and educate on general eye health, and a free LASIK procedure and Botox or Dysport cosmetic injection treatment are being given away. KPLC news programming will feature news segments highlighting important information on eye health and vision problems throughout the month.