Vision Health Month 2023
Every twelve minutes a Canadian develops a problem with their vision; there are more than 836,000 Canadians who have significant loss of vision.
Vision Health Month raises awareness about the importance of protecting our vision health. This event is supported by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) and is recognized throughout the whole of Canada.
Vision Health Month = Eye Health Month?
When we use the term 'vision health', we are referring to the health of our body's vision system; the eyes are one part of this system. For vision, other factors are also involved. For example, the brain processes light received by the eye into images we can understand. However, problems with vision often arise from eye related health conditions which can sometimes be avoided.
There are several age related eye conditions which can affect vision; these include cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and age related macular degeneration (AMD). A cataract causes the lens of the eye to become cloudy affecting vision.
Glaucoma is a general term for a number of eye diseases which damage the optic nerve usually affecting peripheral vision. Peripheral vision is the area we see outside the center of focus. Diabetic retinopathy, the most common form of diabetic eye disease, is caused by diabetes damaging blood vessels within the retina. Finally, age related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease which causes gradual problems with vision.
Protecting Our Vision
Vision Health Month has two main objectives: to help protect peoples vision & to raise funds for the CNIB. Approximately 75% of vision loss is preventable or treatable. With the support of fellow Canadians, this awareness campaign can have a significant impact on preventing vision health problems whilst providing support and treatments for those with them.
Regular Eye Examinations
The effects of many eye related conditions can be reduced or eliminated by regular eye examinations. If a problem is found early on, steps can be taken to prevent future vision problems. Vision Health Month encourages people to have their eyes tested on a regular basis.
Protecting Against UVA & UVB Rays
Over time, exposure to the suns rays can lead to long term vision health problems which may be irreversible. 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 & UVB rays by wearing sunglasses when appropriate.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can also promote vision health. Healthy lifestyle practices include quitting smoking, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy diet.
During this month, 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.
For more information visit the Vision Health Month webpage.