Keep a close eye on your vision

October is Eye Health Month, a national public awareness campaign and this year?s theme: Canadians and Screen Time ? Be Kind to Your Eyes, highlights the importance of keeping an eye on our vision and the dangers which can threaten it. All of us should be aware that some eye diseases can cause permanent damage without warning or symptoms.

Our ability to see is the result of a series of actions within our bodies. These include the reflection of light in our eyes, according to its curvature, and the transfer of millions of electrochemical messages between the eye and the brain; messages which are processed by the brain into a series of images. Thus, most eye problems are caused by an error in the way our eyes refract or focus the light they receive. Moreover, during ageing, the eye atrophies and becomes less flexible which causes even more difficulties.

The most common problems

Age, genetic predisposition or a virus can result in different ocular-visual health problems. The most common of these are cataracts and glaucoma. A cataract, a clouding of the lens of the eye which is normally clear, causes blurred vision and light sensitivity. Age, heredity and too much exposure to ultraviolet light can result in the appearance of cataracts. Glaucoma, which is caused by age, short-sightedness or certain medical problems, is often referred to as the silent thief. It results in vision loss due to damage to the optic nerve and unusually high intraocular pressure.

In order to avert cataracts, glaucoma or any other serious vision problem, our eyes should be examined by a qualified optometrist on a regular basis.