Happy family celebrating World Blindness Awareness Month 2023

Eye Health in Focus: World Blindness Awareness Month

Grene Vision Group is observing World Blindness Awareness Month this October. This month helps us learn about the challenges many face because of blindness and why it happens. Millions of people worldwide deal with blindness daily. With a little knowledge and understanding, we can all help to reduce preventable vision loss. Our team in the Wichita, Kansas area is here to give tips on how to take care of your eyes. Come find out more about serious vision problems and what steps you can take to keep your eyes healthy from the eye care professionals at Grene Vision Group. Let's work together to keep our sight strong!

What is Blindness?

Blindness means a person has lost most or all of their vision. Being blind changes a person’s day-to-day life. Everyday tasks, like walking around or going to school or work, become a struggle. Depending on the degree or type of blindness a person has, they may require a significant amount of assistance to navigate their surroundings. Whether someone has been blind since birth or lost their vision later, they miss out on many things, like seeing art, reading books, or looking at smiles. This can also make people feel very depressed sometimes. Part of the goal of Blindness Awareness Month is to understand and support individuals suffering from blindness every day.

Which Eye Conditions Cause Blindness?

Eye Injuries

If something sharp or hard hits your eye, it can cause serious damage. People who play sports or work with machines are more at risk. These injuries might cause temporary pain or discomfort, but in really bad cases, they can lead to permanent blindness. If you have sustained an eye injury, schedule an appointment with your Grene Vision Group eye doctor immediately.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye condition that causes damage to the nerve that sends pictures from your eye to your brain. Most of the time, it's caused by too much pressure inside the eye. If glaucoma isn't caught and treated, it can cause permanent vision loss or even blindness. In fact, it's one of the leading reasons people around the world become blind. The tricky part? You might not even know you have glaucoma because patients often don’t start showing symptoms until damage to your eyes has already happened. That's why it's so important for an eye doctor to check for it during your annual appointment.

Cataracts

If there's a cloudy spot on your eye’s natural lens, it may be cataracts. This cloudiness stops light from passing through correctly, making things look blurry or discolored. Cataracts are a big deal worldwide. If you don't handle them soon, they can grow and cause you to go completely blind. Getting older and lots of sunlight exposure are two main reasons people get cataracts. Luckily, cataracts are treatable by a very straightforward and common procedure.

Diabetic Retinopathy

People with diabetes are commonly affected by diabetic retinopathy. It’s when high blood sugar levels harm the blood vessels in the retina, the back part of your eye. These vessels can swell and leak because of the high sugar levels, and this can affect the vision of diabetic individuals of all ages. If diabetic retinopathy isn’t treated, it can cause serious vision issues and can even lead to blindness.

Tips to Prevent Blindness

Wear Eye Protection

Always put on safety glasses, goggles, or helmets with face shields to keep your eyes safe from unexpected objects. It's super crucial when you're in sports or on a construction site. By using protective gear, you shield your eyes from things like balls or any flying debris that could harm them. Remind your teammates or work buddies to wear their eye protection too!

Avoid UV Rays

UV rays from the sun aren't just bad for our skin; they're really harmful to our eyes too. When we spend lots of time outdoors, we're soaking up those damaging UV rays. Over time, these rays can boost the chances of getting cataracts and other serious eye issues, like pterygium—a growth on the white of the eye that can eventually block vision if not treated. Remember, damage from UV rays builds up over the years, so starting eye protection early is a smart move. Even if it doesn't seem super sunny, you've got to protect those eyes. On cloudy days, the sun’s harmful rays are still reaching your eyes; it's just sneakier about it. When picking out shades, look for sunglasses that promise to block 100% of both UVA and UVB rays. That way, you're giving your eyes the best shield possible.

Be Healthy

Leading a healthy lifestyle has lots of benefits. You'll notice that your body feels more energized, your mind stays sharp, and your eyes benefit too. Incorporating exercise and making smart food choices are key elements of this. When thinking about eye health, load up on foods rich in vitamins A, C, and E. Don't forget about zinc and omega-3 fatty acids too. Foods like green leafy veggies, carrots, citrus fruits, and fish are not only delicious but can also help keep your eyes in tip-top shape. Additionally, avoid smoking. Smoking harms nearly every organ in the body, and the eyes are no exception. It increases the risk of developing conditions like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. So, for the sake of your overall eye health, it's best to steer clear of cigarettes.

Get Annual Eye Exams

Regular visits to an eye doctor are the best way to ward off blindness. Even if you feel your vision is spot-on, regular eye checks are crucial because our eyes can change as we age and you may have a hidden eye condition without even knowing it. Your eye specialist can detect conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy early on before they progress too far. Addressing these problems promptly means you can sidestep serious or lasting vision damage. For thorough, comprehensive eye exams,  book an appointment with your nearest Grene Vision Group eye doctor.

Get Treatment for Eye Conditions

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Getting treated for eye conditions is crucial to avoiding blindness or severe vision impairment. Both diabetes and high blood pressure can result in significant eye issues. If you're diabetic, managing your blood sugar levels is essential to avoid conditions like diabetic retinopathy, which, if neglected, can result in blindness. Similarly, hypertensive retinopathy stems from uncontrolled high blood pressure. Addressing your blood pressure isn't just beneficial for your general well-being, but it's also vital for the health of your eyes.

Contact Grene Vision Group in Kansas Today

Blindness is a major problem worldwide, but thanks to what we know today, we can do a lot to stop it before it starts. All you need is the right care and a bit of awareness. At Grene Vision Group, we've got your back. Need info or help to keep your eyes in top shape? We're here for you. With offices all around the Wichita, Kansas area, great eye care is just around the corner. Do you have questions about World Blindness Awareness Month or ready to start your journey to clearer vision? Reach out! Let's get you set up with an appointment at Grene Vision Group.

Webb Road
Webb Road
Maize Road
Ridge Road
Yates Center
Hutchinson West
Derby
Hutchinson East
Fredonia
Winfield
El Dorado
Harry and Rock
Augusta
East Central
Wellington
Anthony
Seneca
Ophthalmology Clinic
Andover