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Eye Health

POSTED ON January 2, 2014

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Photo courtesy: www.lcrfwired.org Everyone needs an annual eye exam for several reasons.  First, nearly 60% of Americans need some form of vision correction, most of which can be detected and, subsequently, corrected during an eye exam.  But, they don’t call the eyes the window to the soul without reason.  There are nearly 40 systemic diseases which our Indiana eye doctors at Dr. Tavel may be able to ...

Photo courtesy: www.lcrfwired.org

Photo courtesy: www.lcrfwired.org

Everyone needs an annual eye exam for several reasons.  First, nearly 60% of Americans need some form of vision correction, most of which can be detected and, subsequently, corrected during an eye exam.  But, they don’t call the eyes the window to the soul without reason.  There are nearly 40 systemic diseases which our Indiana eye doctors at Dr. Tavel may be able to detect through a routine eye exam.

Some of these diseases are insidious and have little or no symptoms.  So, an eye exam may be the first sign something is wrong.  An annual exam can (and has) detect(ed) some forms of cancer as well as systemic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, MS, and lung diseases like Histoplasmosis, a disease that is endemic in the Ohio River Valley which includes Indiana.

Aside from systemic diseases, according to the National Eye Institute, the number of Americans with major eye diseases is increasing, and vision loss is becoming a major public health problem.  Blindness or low vision affects 3.3 million Americans over the age of 40, or 1 in 28. This figure is projected to reach 5.5 million by the year 2020. The study identifies age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, cataract and diabetic retinopathy as the most common eye diseases in Americans age 40 and over.

Worse yet, another study shows that most Americans don’t know the risks and warning signs of diseases that could cause blindness. In the “Survey of Public Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices Related to Eye Health and Disease,” sponsored by the National Eye Institute and the Lions Clubs International Foundation, 71% of respondents said that eye sight loss would have the greatest impact on their day-to-day lives, but only eight percent did know that there were no early warning signs of glaucoma.

The following blog posts will contain information about several of the most common eye diseases and vision problems that our Indiana eye doctors at Dr. Tavel may detect during an eye exam.

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