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The Ohio Department of Aging

Ohio Department of Aging Aging News and Perspective

GUEST COLUMN:
The gift of sight is important for Living "Well Beyond 60!"

Why Prevent Blindness makes aging our business

May 13, 2016
By Laura Schwartz, Special Projects Coordinator
Prevent Blindness | Ohio Affiliate

What would you miss most if you lost your ability to see?

Laura Schwartz, Prevent Blindness Ohio AffilliateI ask this question often as an icebreaker at training sessions I conduct on behalf of the Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness. The responses often include:

  • "Seeing the expression on my children or grandchildren's faces as they grow up."
  • "Participating in my hobbies."
  • "Driving or getting around on my own."
  • "My independence."
  • "Everything!"

Evidence proves that vision problems increase the incidence of depression and falling, decreased cognition, and poorer health outcomes.

The thing is, an estimated 3.6 million Ohioans have vision problems and the number of Ohioans with impaired vision, including blindness, could double in the next three decades with the growth of the senior population. The experts say 50 percent of all blindness can be prevented, but how?

Here are some thoughts:

  • Lack of regular professional eye exams impact vision loss because many eye diseases are asymptomatic. Regular dilated eye exams at a frequency recommended by your eye doctor are critical.
     
  • Smoking, diabetes and eye injuries increase the likelihood of vision problems. So, don't smoke (as if you haven't heard that before), see your doctor regularly if you have diabetes and wear proper eye protection when doing hazardous tasks.
     
  • Poor health habits and chronic disease increase the incidence of eye disease. So, eat a healthy colorful diet, exercise, maintain a healthy blood pressure and control your blood sugar.

So, what would you miss most if you lost your ability to see? We are each empowered with the information we need to take action to enjoy good sight for life!

If you can't afford vision care or have questions about vision problems, call Prevent Blindness at 1-800-301-2020 or visit www.pbohio.org.

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Aging. It's Everybody's Business.

The Ohio Department of Aging is celebrating Older Americans Month with the theme: "Aging. It's Everybody's Business." All month long, we are turning our blog over to our many and various partners, from our sister state agencies to organizations and individuals working every day in our communities to build a stronger Ohio for all generations.

This article is presented for informational purposes and its posting here does not constitute an endorsement by the Department of Aging of the author, his or her organization or the opinions expressed.

 

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