March is National Save Your Vision Month
Digital technology not only redefines how people interact with the world, but also how they see it, making it all the more important for the public to make smart eye care choices.
credit: American Optometric Association
That’s why the ’21st-century Eye’ is the focus of AOA’s Save Your Vision Month public awareness campaign throughout March, offering consumers a healthy reminder about eye health from the most authoritative source they know—their eye doctors.
3 considerations for the 21st-century eye
Below are three messages bound to resonate with an increasingly tech-conscious public that this year’s Save Your Vision Month campaign will reinforce:
- Give your eyes a break. An AOA survey found that 83 percent of children between the ages of 10 and 17 use an electronic device for more than three hours a day, while only 14 percent reported taking a visual break every 20 minutes. The AOA recommends the 20-20-20 rule to ward off digital eye strain: Take a 20-second break to view something 20 feet away every 20 minutes. And when it comes to digital devices, research indicates that blue light exposure could be doing some harm.
- Be a savvy shopper. Purchasing eyeglasses online may seem like a consumer convenience, but the AOA warns that the consequences of making an incorrect or uninformed purchase could cost patients more time and money in the long run. An AOA study published in 2011 with the Optical Laboratories Association and The Vision Council found nearly half of all glasses ordered online had either prescription errors or failed to meet minimum safety standards.
- Skip shortcuts. When it comes to the overall health and wellbeing of eyes, there is no substitute for a yearly, comprehensive eye exam by an eye doctor. Mobile apps or online tests do not provide the appropriate accuracy or information when it comes to changes in eye and general health. Regular, comprehensive eye exams are one of the most important, preventive ways to preserve healthy eyes and save vision.
Jack Schaeffer, O.D., Optometry Cares board member, says the observance is a great chance to join a worthwhile national awareness campaign that benefits optometry.
“This is an opportunity to really educate as many people as we can, to start that word of mouth of, ‘hey, let’s take care of our eyes,'” Dr. Schaeffer says in an upcoming article about the campaign in the March edition of AOA Focus.