Did you know each year in May the National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP) of the National Eye Institute (NEI) spearheads Healthy Vision Month along with associations that provide vision rehabilitation and eye care services? Both NEHEP and NEI are resources you should know about—they are the national federally funded arms in the United States, NEI, focusing on eye research and NEHEP on public eye health education.
The Healthy Vision website offers free resources and materials for adults and children in English and in Spanish; information on examinations and prevention; literature citations and abstracts; and organizations to contact for additional information.
It’s important to encourage eye health for the whole family, whether a family member is visually impaired or not. There is a myth I’ve heard about that some people think if you are visually impaired or blind it’s not necessary to go for regular eye exams. This is untrue: it’s extremely important to promote eye health for our visually impaired kids to keep their eyes healthy. Having regular eye care could prevent other secondary conditions that can occur if left untreated from the child’s primary eye condition. Promoting eye health for the whole family, including members who are not visually impaired, is essential for prevention as well; in many cases eye diseases have been scientifically linked to genetics and can be hereditary in families.
There has been great progress in eye research and in treatment methods—with regular eye exams and care under an eye care professional, early detection and treatment can sometimes save sight!