Shore Eye Associates

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What is the best thing I can do for my eyes?

I am at the annual American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting riding in a cab to the airport and the cab driver, after finding out that I'm an ophthalmologist, asks me a question. "I'm 60 years old and have no vision problems, what's the best thing I can do for my eyes?"

"Good question. Let me give that a though for a second." So I'm racking my brains trying to come up the best answer on the spur of the moment. Surprisingly, I haven't really given this question that much thought before now.

I'm trying to come up with one single recommendation but it was a real struggle. Thought about several answers.

Vitamins? Not enough evidence unless you have macular degeneration.

Sunglasses? Some evidence it may help prevent cataracts, macular degeneration and eyelid skin cancer but the degree of protection is not overwhelming.

So when it finally came down to coming up with an answer I had to recommend two things.

Number 1- Wear protection whenever you are doing anything where you are at risk for something hitting you in the eye. The most common preventable injuries I see are people getting hit with projectiles and they aren't wearing eye protection. The most common things: grinding metal (mechanics), yard work (particularly weed whacking), paintball, racquetball and construction.

Number 2- Getting your eyes examined when you start getting older even if you have no symptoms. There are way too many people who show up for their first eye exam at 70 years of age and are now near blind from glaucoma or macular degeneration. Problems that may have been treated and prevented if they had just come in for regular eye exams prior to the onset of significant symptoms.

So there you have it, spur of the moment, the two best recommendations I can give you to keep your eyes healthy and safe. 

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Friday, 04 December 2020

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