Your health and your eyes

Think about all the visual tasks your eyes perform during the day. They help you see to work, play, and live. Do you know how often you should be visiting your eye doctor?
Getting a yearly eye exam is important, no matter what your age or what your visual needs are. You don’t want to be caught taking your vision for granted. The American Optometric Association recommends eye examinations at 6 months of age, at 3 years, before entering first grade, and every year thereafter.
For adults, it’s important to have a regular yearly exam to detect glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy. The importance of monitoring these diseases becomes even more prevalent after the age of 60.
Your eye doctor should provide a thorough workup on you, focusing on preventative care of your eyes and general health. During the examination, they will evaluate your visual acuity, the health of your eyes, and also diagnose other health problems, like diabetes or high blood pressure. As eye doctors, we can play an important role, in coordination with primary care doctors and other healthcare professionals, to monitor the well-being of our patients. Sometimes your eye doctor can be the first to detect these diseases, even before you have seen your primary care doctor.
It’s our job to educate each patient on simple ways to take care of their eyes and bodies. Did you know that your diet can help prevent vision loss? Certain nutrients are important to your eye health, such as Omega 3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and Vitamins C and E. These nutrients might help ward off diseases like age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Here is a list of healthy foods that contain the important nutrients your eyes need to function:
Green, leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and collards
Salmon, tuna, and other fish
Eggs, nuts, beans, and other non-meat protein sources
Oranges and other citrus fruits or juices
Many of my are excited to learn that simple tips like better nutrition can help to preserve their vision. Many new patients come in not knowing the extent of the relationship between total body wellness and eye health. I like my patients to leave knowing they are prepared to keep their eyes healthy and vision clear for years to come.

Dr. Candice Olund
 Dr. Candice Olund lives in New Albany with her husband and daughter. She is the owner and optometrist at Focus Eyecare Center, 5120 Charlestown Road, Suite 4, New Albany.


Published from the Feb. 2015 Southern Indiana Fitness Source.