Vision Facts: What is 20/20?
Looking At Our Eyes
What Eyes are Made Of? Lens, Cornea, Pupil, Iris, Optic nerve, Macula, Retina, Fovea
The Snellen Chart is used to measure visual acuity, or how good our eyesight is Each row measures a different level of acuity, starting with 20/200 and working down to 20/10
20/20 : Normal vision
20/200 : Legal blindness: The bigger the second number, the worse your eyesight is. 20/200 vision means that the subject sees at 20 feet what a person with normal vision sees at 200 feet
Common Threats To Eye Health
Our eyes are known for being fragile pieces of equipment, but do we treat them that way?
Aging Eye Problems
- Cataract: Clouding of the lens. Leading cause of vision loss in America
- Diabetic Retinopathy: Damages retinal blood vessels, creating blotches in vision
- Causes 12,000 - 24,000 Americans to go blind annually
- Glaucoma: Pressure in eyes is higher than normal and it damages optic nerve carrying information from the eye to the brain
- 4.5% - 9.4% of Americans over 40 are affected by primary open-angle glaucoma. In 2004 there were 2.2 million, by 2020 there are projected to be 3.3 million
- Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Deterioration of the macula affects ability to see detail
- In 2010 there were 2.07 million, by 2050 there are projected to be 5.44 million Americans with advanced age-related macular degeneration
- Astigmatism: Light comes to multiple focus points instead of one 36.2% of Americans 20+years old suffer from astigmatism
- Hyperopia or Farsightedness: See distant objects well but difficulty focusing on objects that are up close Affects 1 in 4 people
- Myopia or Nearsightedness: See close-up objects well but difficulty seeing distant objects clearly
- Computer Vision Syndrome. 65% of American adults report that overexposure to screens causes tired and dry eyes. Is this causing an increase in myopic cases?
- In 1971-1972, 25% of Americans aged 12-54 had myopia. In between 1999-2004, 41.6% of that same set had myopia.
- Presbyopia: The lens cannot easily flex to accommodate focusing on objects.
- In 2012, 111 million American adults had presbyopia - by 2020, 123 million are projected to be suffering from it.
- Conjunctivitis or Pink Eye: Inflammation of the white of the eye and inside of the eyelids affects 3 million Americans annually
- Amblyopia or Lazy Eye: Abnormal development leads to failure of both eyes to work together. It affects 4% of Americans.
- Dry Eye: Chronic lack of lubrication and moisture on the surface of the eye affects 48% of Americans over the age of 18.
80% of us worry about losing our eyesight, but only 14% of people with eye diseases go in for regular eye exams—we need to pay better attention to our eye health.
Preventative steps to protect your eyes
Regular Eye Exams.
*You may need to go more regularly if you are at risk for eye problems
- Children with eyeglasses or contact lenses should go annually
- Otherwise children should get eye exams at these ages: 6 months old, 3 years old, Before 1st grade then biannually
- Adults with eyeglasses or contact lenses should go annually.
- Adults 18 to 60 years who do not wear glasses or contacts should go biannually
- Adults 61 and older should get annual eye exams
Eating for Eye Health
- Beta-carotene: One serving daily helps the eye absorb light energy and improves adjustments in low light
- Carrots, cantaloupe, sweet potato, pumpkin, butternut squash
- Zeaxanthin and Lutein: One serving every other day lowers risk of developing macular degeneration and cataracts. Forms pigments in the macula that filter out harmful blue light waves and protect against age-related blindness.
- Spinach, eggs, corn, broccoli, kale
- Zinc: Two servings a week will releases Vitamin A from the liver to be used in eye tissues. Deficiency can lead to sight loss from macular degeneration.
- Beef, poultry, oysters and beans
- Docosahexaenoic acid (Omega-3 fatty acid): Two servings a week will protects against macular degeneration and dry eye. Reduces inflammation that leads to dry eye.
- Tuna, anchovies, mackerel, salmon, trout
- Vitamin C: One serving daily lowers risk of developing cataracts.
- Oranges, tomatoes, red peppers
- Resveratrol: Reasonable consumption will help with micro-circulation within the eye and prevent development of abnormal blood vessels
- Red wine, peanuts, blueberries
Bad Eye Health Habits to End Now
- Stop Smoking
- Or you have 2X the risk of developing cataracts, 3X the risk of developing macular degeneration and be 4X as likely to go blind in old age
- Take A Break From Screens
- Use the 20-20-20 rule - Look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. Remember to blink frequently and adjust lighting for optimal screen viewing
- Wear Eye Protection
- Sunglasses protect eyes from UV rays. Reading and prescription glasses help to correct problems with vision and protect from further problems. Safety goggles protect eyes from injury.
By working towards better eye health, maybe we can look toward a healthier future
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Also see: Computer Glasses, Gunnar Prescription Computer Eyewear, Prescription Lens Guide