Don’t look now, but, yes, National Eye Exam Month is upon us!  So, while you’re enjoying the beautiful sights of waning summer and anticipating the breath-taking fall foliage (if you’re lucky enough to live in an area with breath-taking fall foliage) make sure to take care of the precious sense of sight that allows us to savor them!


Sears Optical originated National Eye Exam Month is 1989, and it’s been a successful movement to keep eye care in people’s minds.  Ophthalmologists around the nation have participated in some way, shape, or form ever since.  Many are involved in Eye Care America, providing eye exams for senior citizens 65 and up at no charge.


The standard guidelines for having your eyes examined are every two to fours years if you are between 40 and 65 years old, and every one to two years if you are over 65.  If you have a history of family eye issues or have certain chronic diseases, you should of course lean toward the more frequent end of those ranges.  Older folks are more prone to eye irritations and other vision-related problems for the simple fact that eye muscles weaken as you advance in age.  But whatever your age, if you have blurry vision, extreme light sensitivity, black spots, constant pain, or consistently watering eyes, have your eyes checked ASAP.


Tips for keeping your eyes in good shape any time of the year include using a clean towel and water to wipe the eyelids because they can carry irritants and micro-organisms that may irritate the eyes; not using other people’s glasses; eating nuts for Vitamin A and protein; using good lighting when watching TV, working on a computer, or reading – and take short breaks to rest the eyes when doing any of those activities; and using sunglasses with UV protection.


August is also Cataracts Awareness Month, and people over 55 should definitely be monitored for this vision-debilitating malady.  It impacts the lens of the eyes and can ultimately lead to loss of vision.  Its symptoms include glares, double-vision, faded colors, and intense blurred vision.  Glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration are other serious eye threats that you should consult an ophthalmologist about when having your eyes checked.


Be good to your eyes!  There are many helpful practices and devices to help you with this very important need – ones that should be incorporated into your life until they are consistent practices.  One habit to start this effort is to keep a Focus Glass by Winross on your nightstand, in the kitchen, and on the bathroom vanity.  Not only will it help preserve your eyes, it will help you prevent medication errors that are a major problem in America and around the world, causing illness and even death in some cases!  Use National Eye Exam Month as a starting point in building a lifetime of eye care and protection!