Seeing Through a Commitment to Healthy Eyes

The American Optometric Association suggests starting the new year off with a thorough eye examination.

Most people are busy making new year's resolutions to lose weight, eat right and stop smoking. Eye health, however, is not often included in healthy new year's plans.

The American Optometric Association (AOA) suggests starting 2000 off right by making an appointment for a thorough eye examination.

Because January is National Eye Care Month, the association urges people of all ages to have regular exams to detect not only vision deficiencies, but eye diseases as well, according to AOA President, Dr. Harvey P. Hanlen.

"Certain eye diseases may cause eye damage and vision loss without any apparent warning signs or symptoms," said Hanlen.

For example, Hanlen said the most common type of glaucoma, which causes increased pressure inside the eye and damage to the optic nerve, develops gradually and painlessly without symptoms.

"By the time an individual has symptoms, some vision may have already been permanently lost," added Hanlen.

Unless health or vision conditions suggest more frequent visits, the AOA recommends that adults have examinations once every two or three years from ages 19 to 40; once every year or two from 41 to 60; and once a year from age 60 onward to ensure healthy eyes.

For more information on keeping eyes healthy, visit the AOA Web site at www.aoanet.org

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