Out of all the diseases and illnesses that can affect quality of life, such as losing a limb, loss of memory, speech, and hearing, the loss of vision has been ranked by Americans to have the biggest impact on quality of life.
When you think about the things you would no longer be able to do, or see for that matter, if you were to lose your eyesight, it’s not surprising that people agree on the matter. In fact, 38 percent of Hispanics, 43 percent of Asians, 49 percent of non-Hispanic whites, and 57 percent of African-Americans all believe their quality of life would be greatly affected if they were to lose their vision.
Coming in a close second to quality of life being impacted by vision loss is loss of independence. Imagine living your whole life being able to look at the people you love every day, being able to see the beautiful sights of nature, being able to do whatever you wanted to do whenever you wanted to do it, and then suddenly you can’t anymore. You find yourself dependent on others to take you wherever you need to go, to tell you they’re happy instead of being able to see their happiness in the expression on their face, to assist you with daily chores and everything else you used to be able to do when you were able to see.
Loss of independence and quality of life are major adjustments that millions of people have to struggle with when something causes them to lose their ability to see. Sudden vision loss can lead to extreme depression. Some of the causes of vision loss can’t be prevented, but many of them can be, or at least delayed. Unfortunately, not many people are aware of the diseases that can cause vision loss and many don’t have a full understanding of the effects of those diseases or how they progress.
Improving the Prevention and Treatment of Eye Diseases
It is extremely important for everyone to be better educated about eye and vision diseases so we are aware of how and why the diseases and disorders develop and the effects they can have on vision. More people should pay attention to whether or not their relatives have suffered from diseases like glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration to name a few, so that they know if there’s a higher risk that they, too, will develop these diseases.
If there has been a family history of these or other diseases that can cause loss of vision, it makes it that much more important that they receive regular exams and stay on top of their eye and vision health. In addition, people with diabetes should also be extra cautious when it comes to the health of their eyes because they are also at a higher risk of developing various eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy.
Aside from individuals needing to know more about eye diseases, there needs to be additional research on prevention and treatment methods for these diseases. As it is, the federal government spends around $2.10 per person annually on this type of research, but half of all Hispanics and African-Americans, 47 percent of non-Hispanic whites, and 35 percent of Asians don’t think this amount is nearly enough and that more money should be spent on this type of research.
Even more, nearly half of all the groups think that funding for vision and eye research should be increased by non-governmental sectors as well.
Being Proactive About Eye Health
According to Prevent Blindness, as of right now health care costs associated with vision and eye disorders come to $145 billion annually, but they estimate that those costs will continue to rise and will reach $717 billion by the year 2050. That is an astronomical increase and could be avoided if more money was put into researching these eye diseases, such as more ways to prevent them and how to delay their progression to give everyone who suffers from them the chance to keep their eyesight for as long as possible.
Everyone can do their own part in being proactive about keeping common eye diseases at bay and lowering the risk for developing the diseases. The first step is to make sure you have regular eye exams. For most people, every one to two years you should schedule an appointment with your eye doctor and have a thorough exam done. The regularity of the eye exams may differ depending on your age or if you have certain eye diseases or issues or if you are at increased risk of developing eye or vision problems.
You can also start eating better and make sure you get a lot of the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are beneficial for your eyes into your diet. Eating leafy green vegetables, such as spinach or kale, brightly colored veggies, such as red, yellow, and orange bell peppers or tomatoes, and fruit such as berries and oranges will all greatly benefit your eye health because they are chock full of antioxidants that go straight to improving your vision and eye health.
If you don’t think it’s feasible to get a lot of those fruits and veggies into your diet, you can take a supplemental vitamin, like the Rebuild Your Vision Ocu-Plus Formula, that will give you all the vitamins and minerals that will keep your eyes strong and healthy.
If you find yourself slacking off on maintaining your eye health, just think about how different your life could turn out if you were to lose your eyesight and be unable to be independent anymore. Think about how the lives of those you love would be impacted as well and then take the next step to holding onto your vision.