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You can prevent vision loss

Remember your vision health!

May is CNIB Vision Health Month—a time for Canadians to take control of their eye health.

Every 12 minutes, another Canadian begins to lose their sight. This can happen to anyone at any point in their lifetime, bringing challenges they might never have imagined.

While some vision loss happens before birth or because of factors beyond our control, there still are many things that can be done to help prevent it.

“Astonishingly, 75 percent of vision loss can actually be prevented or treated, whether it’s by making simple lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of eye disease or by taking safety precautions to avoid eye injuries,” said Dr. Keith Gordon, vice-president of research and service quality at the CNIB.

Consider the following tips from CNIB on how to help save your sight:

1. Wear sunglasses year-round.

Choose shades with 99 percent ultraviolet (UV) protection from both UVA and UVB rays.

2. Get regular eye exams.

Early detection is key to ensure prompt diagnosis of, and early treatment for, eye disease that can rob you of your sight later in life, so visit your eye doctor regularly.

3. Eat healthy. Fruits, vegetables, and foods high in omega-3 fatty acids are great for your eyes.

4. Quit smoking. People who smoke are up to four times more likely to develop AMD, the leading cause of vision loss in people over 50 in Canada.

5. Keep drinking to a minimum. Heavy drinking of alcoholic beverages is a known risk factor for developing cataracts and other eye diseases.

As part of its annual Vision Health Month campaign in May, the CNIB is calling on all Canadians to take control of their eye health to help prevent future sight loss, starting with getting their eyes checked.

For more information about vision health and how to support Canadians with vision loss in your community, visit www.cnib.ca

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