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Seven Tips For Optimal Vision

As we age, so do our eyes and the risk of eye problems and vision loss increases. In fact, one out of every six adults age 45 and above has a vision-threatening eye condition. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), more than forty-three million Americans will develop some sort of age-related eye disease by 2020.

You don’t need to just sit around and wait for your eyes and vision to deteriorate as there are many things you can do to protect your vision and reduce your risks of eye disease and vision loss.

7 Tips for Protecting Your Precious Eyes

Here are 7 eye-health tips to protect your eyes and vision as you age:

  1. Regular eye exams. The number one thing you can do to protect your eyes and vision is to schedule routine eye exams every year to check the health of your eyes. Many eye diseases must be detected and treated early to prevent vision loss and often symptoms don’t appear until it’s too late. Regular eye exams can catch a developing disease before vision is lost.
  2. UV eye protection. UV rays from the sun can damage your eyes and increase the risk of diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Any time you go outside (winter or summer) wear sunglasses with full UV protection as well as a hat or visor to protect your eyes from UV coming in from the top or the side of your glasses.
  3. Don’t smoke. Smoking significantly increases your risks of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts as well as other eye diseases. This is just another reason to quit.
  4. Eat a healthy diet. A balanced diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens as well as omega-3 fatty acids from fish and other sources can give you nutrients that will reduce your risks of many eye diseases including macular degeneration.
  5. Exercise regularly. Research by the AAO suggests that regular exercise can reduce the risk of macular degeneration by as much as 70%.
  6. Keep diabetes and high blood pressure under control. When not controlled and monitored these diseases can cause vision loss from serious eye problems such as diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, glaucoma and ocular hypertension. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure schedule regular eye exams to monitor your eye health.
  7. Know your family history and risk factors. Be aware of your latent risks for eye disease by knowing your family health history and the risk factors associated with your age, race, gender and lifestyle. If you have any risk factors tell your eye doctor and learn about what you need to do to prevent eye disease.

As with any medical issue, be on the alert for any changes in vision. If you experience any of the following conditions see an eye doctor immediately: double or hazy vision, difficulty seeing in low light conditions, flashes of light, floaters, and eye pain or swelling. Any of these symptoms may indicate a potentially serious eye health problem which need immediate attention.

Make sure your eyes are checked regularly through a comprehensive eye exam even if you don’t have any symptoms or vision loss. In addition to making sure you are seeing your best, this can detect the development of any serious eye disease. Adhering to these tips may not guarantee 20/20 vision for life but it will help you reduce your risk of eye and vision problems and to preserve your vision for a healthier life.

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Dear Patients,

As of Tuesday evening, March 17th, the CDC has recommended that all routine eye care be deferred until further notice, in order to slow the transmission of COVID-19 through our community.

Please be assured that we are still available to triage all urgent and emergent calls during this challenging time.

We are officially closing our offices effective at 3:00pm today, March 20 th and tentatively plan to reopen on April 1 st . We are rescheduling all routine visits and are available by phone to triage ocular emergencies.

Our phone lines will be open:

Monday the 23 rd and 30 th : 10:00am to 5:00pm

Tuesday-Friday (24 th -27 th and the 31 st ): 9:00am to 3:00pm

What does this mean?

1) If you are scheduled for an annual eye examination we will tentatively reschedule you starting April 1 st

2) If you are running out of a medication please contact us and we can transmit a refill electronically to your pharmacy.

3) If you have an issue which cannot wait for an office visit, contact us and we will schedule a Telephone appointment with one of our doctors. Medicare has temporarily relaxed its telehealth rules to allow this type of communication during the pandemic crisis. Other insurers may follow suit and allow for reimbursement of virtual care costs. The consultation must be initiated at your request.

4) If you have an ocular emergency we are, as always, available to help you at any time. Call 1-850-455-0120 andwait for instructions at the end of the message.

Dr. Leonard or Dr. Charbonneau will discuss your condition by phone and make the best treatment decision for you on a one on one basis.

5) Please remember that 80% of COVID-19 cases are mild and resolve within a week. However, if you feel your symptoms are worsening, call ahead before visiting your doctor’s office or emergency department and tell them you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the office protect themselves and other patients.

The CDC has many wonderful resources. Arming yourself and your family with clear information will help you avoid undue stress.

https://bit.ly/2WxWYIe and https://bit.ly/33FBlXZ

Together we will weather this storm.

With sincerest wishes for your continued good health we remain at your service,

Dr. Clare L Leonard

Dr. Mary Charbonneau