July EYE is National Eye Health Awareness
It’s time to shed some light on eye health this month, even though one should focus on maintaining their visual health everyday. Paying close attention to one’s visual health has long term benefits. Regular visits to the optometrist can forewarn individuals of potential health risks, as well as identify notable visual concerns.
Jacqueline Gattegno, a Smart Vision Optometrist at Eyes InDesign Bondi, expands on the importance of healthy vision. “There are approximately 2.2 billion people globally with near or distance-related vision impairment. In approximately half of these cases, vision impairment could have been prevented, or identified early with a regular visit to a Smart Vision Optometrist,” says Jacquie.
Sadly, however, not all vision-related issues can be detected from a standard eye test from your local optometrist, and that’s because there is a difference between sight and vision. “As a Smart Vision Optometrist, we conduct a Comprehensive Vision Skills Assessment with each patient on their very first appointment. This thorough examination takes about an hour, and because of the techniques and equipment used, this type of examination is not available from your local optometrist,” says Jacquie.
“It is important that we understand the difference between sight and vision,” says Jacquie. “Eyesight essentially refers to the physical attributes and performance of the many organic components involved in the visual system. 20/20 vision is a commonly quoted measure of normal vision, yet it simply describes the sensitivity of the eye to see fine detail in the distance,” Jacquie says.
“Unlike eyesight, vision is a thought process, which emerges as an understanding of what is seen, where it is and how to react to it. It combines information from many sensory systems to create a perception of reality,” says Jacquie. “Vision describes a more dynamic and interactive process, essentially a whole information processing system developed through experience to understand the external visual space world.”
For example, “vision is what directs the cricket player to swing the bat at the exact right moment and place in space to make contact and hit a six, right over the fence,” Jacquie explains.
The primary causes of vision impairment and blindness are, uncorrected refractive, diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, corneal opacity, trachoma and age-related macular degeneration. The majority of individuals with vision impairment tend to be over the age of 50, however vision loss is possible in all age groups. “Children’s vision should be tested continually throughout their school years to ensure vision-related issues do not affect their ability to learn,” Jacquie said.
Uncorrected myopia and presbyopia alone were estimated to be $352 billion and $36.8 billion respectively, in terms of productivity losses within the working world. “The gravity of not addressing visual problems creates a domino effect of unwanted health issues, as well as financial burdens,” says Jacquie.
Vision impairment impacts the quality of life, especially as one ages. “Should vision impairment progressively deteriorate, the significant detriments include, higher risks of falls and fractures, difficulty walking, and social isolation, among many,” says Jacquie.
While many eye diseases can be prevented, not all visual problems are as easily treated. Thus, every single eye condition requires a specific and timely response. “Prevention, treatment and rehabilitation are effective interventions to both address and facilitate the needs of individuals with vision impairment or eye conditions,” says Jacquie.
“Treatments are available for various eye conditions that do not cause severe vision impairment like: conjunctivitis, dry eye, and blepharitis, commonly known as inflammation of the eyelids. While pain and discomfort can be incurred with these eye conditions, the treatments aim to alleviate the symptoms and prevent more severe conditions or diseases,” says Jacquie.
It has been proven that the rehabilitation of one’s visual health has a high effective rate in improving irreversible vision impairment from severe eye conditions like age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.
With any eye condition, it is important to make an appointment with an optometrist or preferably a Smart Vision Optometrist. The earlier a condition can be addressed, the better the outcome. A Smart Vision Optometrist can address symptoms with a tailored wellness treatment program.
Smart Vision Optometry Eyes InDesign Bondi, provides professional expertise to best evaluate and treat eye-related queries and visual problems and supports patients to optimise their visual health.
Smart Vision Optometry clinics are located in multiple suburbs in Sydney. Book a Smart Vision Comprehensive Vision Skills Assessment or Advanced Eye Health Test for any child or adult by calling the Mosman clinic (02) 9969 1600 or the Bondi clinic (02) 9365 5047, book an appointment online.
Written and syndicated by YDMA News.