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Home » Clearwater, FL Eye Care Services » Your Eye Health » Vision Over 60 » Eight Ways to Protect Your Eyesight

Eight Ways to Protect Your Eyesight

One out of every six adults, age 45 and above, have sight-threatening eye problems. The risk of vision loss increases with age. The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) estimates that over 43 million Americans will develop age-related eye diseases by 2020.

7 Tips for Protecting Your Precious Eyes

To protect your eyesight and stay eye-healthy as you age, follow these basic guides:

  1. Protection from UV rays. Always wear sunglasses with proper UV protection to shield your eyes from the sun’s rays. This reduces your risk of cataracts and other eye damage.
  1. Eat healthily balanced meals. Many studies prove that antioxidants can reduce cataract risks. Best antioxidants are obtained from a diet rich with fruits, colorful veggies, and dark green leafy lettuces. Studies prove that eating fish, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, help prevent macular degeneration.
  1. Exercise more frequently. According to the AAO, studies suggest that regular exercise – such as simple walking – can reduce the risk of macular degeneration by as much as 70%.
  1. No smoking! The many dangers of smoking are documented. When it comes to eye health, people who smoke are at significantly greater risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
  1. Schedule regular exams for diabetes and high blood pressure. Left untreated, these diseases can cause eye problems. Diabetes and high blood pressure can lead to diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, glaucoma and ocular hypertension.
  1. Be aware of your latent risks for eye disease. Explore your family health history. Do any family members suffer from diabetes or blood pressure problems? Are you older than 65? Are you an African-American over the age of 40? These are all traits which may increase your risk of sight-threats. Regular eye exams can detect problems which will be used to help preserve your eyesight.
  1. Be Alert for vision changes. As soon as you notice changes in your vision, schedule a visit with your eye doctor. Trouble signs to watch out for: double vision, hazy vision, difficulty seeing in low light conditions, and any other vision alteration. Other signs may include flashes of light, floaters, and eye pain or swelling. All signs or symptoms may indicate potential eye health problem which need immediate attention.

Have your eyes checked at least every two years including a thorough eye exam with pupil dilation to help detect eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration or glaucoma which may not have early warning signs or symptoms. A comprehensive eye exam will also ensure that your prescription eyeglasses or lenses are up-to-date.

Following these steps is no forever guarantee of perfect vision. However, maintaining health and a quality lifestyle along with regular eye exams will certainly manage your risk of eye problems to give you the precious eyesight you deserve.

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Dear Northwood Vision patient,

COVID-19 has the potential to cause grave harm to many of the citizens in our population. According to Harvard epidemiologist Dr. Mark Lipsitch it is likely that at least between 40-70 % of the population will become infected with COVID-19. This virus is twice as contagious as the flu. About 80 percent will not have severe concerns, but based on the current data, 20% of the infected will become severe or critical, needing some form of hospital care to do well. Currently, about 30 % of those who become classified as severe based on WHO classification, will not survive. These are the unfortunate realities at the moment.

Meanwhile, at Northwood Vision, we want to do as much as possible to minimize this risk, to prevent mortality and long term side effects, while doing our best to provide the services our patients need. We are convinced you care about these same things. (Read more)

Here is what we are asking you to do to make a smaller exposure footprint:

  1. If you have any symptoms of a cold or flu (coughing, fever, difficulty breathing, running nose, etc), please reschedule your appointment for at least one month from now.
  2. Try not to touch any surfaces in the office you do not have to touch.
  3. If you are trying on glasses, DO NOT put the frames back on the shelf. Rather, we will collect them from you for proper cleaning before they are returned to the shelves.
  4. If you are ordering contact lenses, a year supply (and some 6 month supplies) order can be direct shipped to your home at no cost. Please take advantage of this so you don’t have to come into the office more than necessary.
  5. If you do need to come into the office for an adjustment, please call the office at 727-725-5558 when you arrive in your vehicle. We will let you know if there is a wait and will put you on a list so we can call or text you to come therefore minimizing the time you are in the enclosed space of our office.
  6. Please come to your appointment with the least number of people possible to reduce exposure to them and to others at the office.
  7. If you have any loved ones that have been exposed to the virus or certainly if they have symptoms of a respiratory illness, please wear a mask in case you are an asymptomatic carrier, or if possible, wait at least 4 weeks before coming in for non-essential care.

In an effort to protect you, here is what we are doing to help lower your risk:

  1. All surfaces in the office will be cleaned several times per day with antiviral/antibacterial cleaner. Surfaces in the exam room will be cleaned thoroughly in between each patient.
  2. No sick or symptomatic staff will be permitted to work while sick with a known viral respiratory infection or symptoms, or while directly caring for a sick relative/friend.
  3. For your safety, payments can be done ahead of time over the phone if you call ahead. This will decrease the amount of time you are in the store and your exposure risk in our enclosed space.
  4. No glasses frames other patients try on will be put back on display until the frames are cleaned with an antiviral cleanser.
  5. We are actively asking patients to reschedule for 4 weeks later if they have any symptoms themselves or in their family/ social network.
  6. We are giving options for patients to acquire goods by mail rather than coming into the store.
  7. We altering our schedule to decrease the number of patients that might be in the office at the same time to maximize social distancing.
  8. We are practicing frequent hand washing at our office to protect you and each other.
  9. We will ask patients to reschedule if they present to our clinic with a cough or other COVID-19 symptoms.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this stressful and trying time. Let us all work together to lower risk of the spread so that less people die and less people have permanent side effects from COVID-19. Each of us can do our part. May God bless each of you and keep you well. Thank you for your understanding and care for your fellow humans.

Dr. Christopher K. Keats, OD