Did you know that every twelve minutes a Canadian develops a problem with their vision, and there are more than 836,000 Canadians who have significant loss of vision? With this in mind, May is Vision Health Month in Canada and the focus is raising awareness about the importance of protecting our vision health, and eliminating avoidable sight loss. This national event is supported by the Canadian national Institute for the Blind (CNIB).
Throughout the month of May, the CNIB and their partners are calling on all Canadians to perform a simple act that could save their sight – get an eye exam from a doctor of Optometry. This website, www.cnib.ca can also help you locate a doctor of Optometry in your area. Approximately 75 percent of vision loss is preventable or treatable, so why gamble with those odds.
While reviewing the website and all the wonderful resources, I was very impressed by their use of the term “vision health” as opposed to “eye” health, as the function of the eyes is just one component of the body’s vision system. For example, if the brain cannot process light received by the eye into images we can understand, then we have vision problems, not eye problems.
We are encouraged to protect our vision by reducing exposure to the sun’s rays which can lead to irreversible vision problems. Sun damage is linked to the two most common vision health conditions in Canada: age related macular degeneration and cataracts. People can protect their eyes from harmful UVA and UVB rays by wearing sunglasses when appropriate. In fact, the CNIB has declared the 24th of May as ‘Shades of Fun Day’. This is a fundraising event in which Canadians are encouraged to wear their best pair of shades (sunglasses) in support for Vision Health Month.
The CNIB’s vital community services include rehabilitation and support, an extensive range of helpful CNIB products which can make life with vision loss easier. All of the services and programs offered by the CNIB are designed to help Canadians overcome the challenges of vision loss and promote the ability to lead full, active lives. Whether you are seeking emotional support, practical solutions to stay active and independent without vision, or more information about your vision health, they can help. Check out their website at www.cnib.ca or visit the local office located in Unit 8 of the Bay View Mall – 613-966-8833.
As I ‘surfed’ the net for information about Vision Health Month, it became very clear (as I peered over my reading glasses) that maintaining a healthy lifestyle can promote vision wellness. Healthy lifestyle practices such as quitting smoking, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy diet can all contribute to vision health.
And because we all know that laughter is the very best thing for your health:
The optician said, “Was there anything in particular that made you realize your eyesight was getting worse?” I nodded, “when my husband started to look attractive.” A woman walks in a store to return a pair of eyeglasses that she had purchased for her husband a week before. “What seems to be the problem, madam?” “I’m returning these glasses I bought for my husband. He’s still not seeing things my way”.