The Benefits of Preventive Eye Care
Written By Dr. Leslie Patch - Holzer Ophthalmology
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Did you know that of the five traditional senses (sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste), sight is responsible for the vast majority of sensory perceptions? Unlike most animals, our interaction with the world depends very heavily on sight. Studies have shown that not only do people consider sight the most important of all the senses, but there is also substantial fear of losing sight compared to other senses. In a recent study, 88 percent of participants ranked sight as the sense they value most and the one they were least willing to trade.1
Early detection of and intervention for treatable eye conditions such as diabetes, glaucoma, and macular degeneration are important for long-term vision preservation. Some eye conditions cause little to no pain and can progress silently with substantial loss of visual function later in life. Many of these diseases can be detected, monitored, and treated by an eye care provider to help maintain healthy eyes and vision throughout life.
Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness and visual impairment in the US. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends people with type 1 diabetes should have annual screenings for diabetic retinopathy beginning 5 years after the onset of their disease, whereas those with type 2 diabetes should have a prompt screening at the time of diagnosis and at least yearly screenings thereafter.2
Even if you have no known eye disease or risk factors for eye disease, a baseline screening at age 40 is recommended.3 Routine eye exams will give you and your eye care provider the opportunity to detect and treat potential disease early, as well as review other preventive measures such as protecting your eyes from injury and wearing sunglasses to protect against ultraviolet radiation. Vision is an extraordinary gift, and a lifetime of healthy eyes and eyesight starts with routine check-ups and preventive care.
Dr. Leslie Patch received her Doctor of Medicine at Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. She completed her residency in ophthalmology at the University of Colorado Eye Center at University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora, Colorado, and was an ASOPRS Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Fellow at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin. Dr. Patch is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and is accepting new patients in Gallipolis and Jackson, Ohio.
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1Enoch J, McDonald L, Jones L, et al. JAMA Ophthalmology 2019;137(11):1317-20.
2American Academy of Ophthalmology Diabetic Retinopathy Preferred Practice Pattern 2019.
3Turbert D. Get an Eye Disease Screening at 40. https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/screening