For Immediate Release: Wednesday, May 1, 2013
NIH Encourages Americans to Make Vision a Priority during Healthy Vision Month
Statement from National Eye Institute Director Paul A. Sieving, M.D., Ph.D.
The best way to care for your eyes is by having a comprehensive dilated eye exam. During this exam, drops are placed in your eyes to dilate, or widen, the pupils. This procedure can detect vision problems and determine whether you need eye glasses or contact lenses. It can also detect eye diseases, many of which cause visual impairment and blindness, in their early stages when they’re the most treatable.
Preventing eye injuries is also important. Many occupations and forms of recreation can present dangers to the eye. Eye protection is a necessity when our jobs put our eyes at risk. It is estimated that wearing protective eyewear when playing sports can cut down on related eye injuries by as much as 90 percent. Wearing eye protection when working in the yard will also lower the number of those who experience serious eye trauma.
Dr. Rachel Bishop, an ophthalmologist at the NIH’s National Eye Institute describes several ways people can keep their eyes healthy —NEI conducts and supports research of blinding eye diseases, visual disorders, and mechanisms of visual function, preservation of sight, and the special health problems and requirements of the visually impaired. Our national investment in vision research has yielded substantial dividends in the form of new and innovative treatment for millions of Americans. Detecting eye disease and problems early allow individuals to benefit from the advances made in vision research.
To learn more about keeping eyes healthy, visit http://www.nei.nih.gov/healthyeyes. To learn more about Healthy Vision Month and to access resources for promoting the observance, such as prewritten Facebook posts and tweets, visit http://www.nei.nih.gov/hvm.
Media Resources: B-roll with eye examinations is available by calling 301-496-5248. Simulations of visual impairments and other images are available in downloadable, camera-ready format on the NEI website at http://www.nei.nih.gov/photo. For more information and resources, see http://www.nei.nih.gov/pressroom/hvm.
About Healthy Vision Month: May is Healthy Vision Month, a national eye health observance established by the National Eye Institute in May 2003. Millions of people living in the United States have undetected vision problems, eye diseases, and conditions, and the observance is designed to elevate vision as a health priority for the nation by promoting the importance of early detection and treatment, as well as the use of proper eye safety practices, in preventing vision loss and blindness. For more information about Healthy Vision Month, visit http://www.nei.nih.gov/hvm.
About the National Eye Institute: The National Eye Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, leads the federal government's research on the visual system and eye diseases. NEI supports basic and clinical science programs that result in the development of sight-saving treatments. For more information, visit http://www.nei.nih.gov.
About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.
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