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VISUAL HEALTH, A MAJOR PUBLIC HEALTH CONCERN

Constantly solicited, the eye is vulnerable to many threats. It’s therefore critical to protect it and prevent any defects and diseases that can occur during one’s life. Getting regular examinations and protecting your eyes are essential to managing your ‘vision’ capital.

New vision
challenges

From childhood to old age, our vision evolves as our eyes are exposed to different situations and risks. With changing lifestyles, other risks are emerging which must be addressed through adopting new habits. Today, for example, urbanization has encouraged indoor living that increases cases of myopia. It’s also accepted that the continual use of digital screens causes eye strain and can encourage the development of certain visual defects. Solutions exist for these new situations. We need to raise awareness, regularly check vision and provide appropriate solutions that are accessible to everyone.

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Preserving
visual health

Vision is an essential function for learning, working, moving around and driving as well as developing and maintaining social relationships in everyday life. We need to manage this precious gift by protecting and caring for it, whatever our age, lifestyle and activities. Everyone should:

1. Regularly check eyesight

from childhood, the first mandatory eye tests should be carried out according to the personal health book at birth, at 8 days and then at 4, 9 and 24 months. It’s important to screen for vision problems throughout childhood,
from 18 years, regular vision tests should still be made. Even if optimal visual acuity is reached between 10 and 15 years, the eyes begin to degrade after reaching adulthood. A visit to a vision care professional should be made every 12 to 18 months,
from 40-45 years, it’s advisable to continue these visits in order to detect as early as possible the onset of presbyopia,
around 60, it is important to detect any risk of glaucoma, cataract or AMD and see a vision specialist once a year.

2. Adopt simple, everyday good habits for your eyes

It’s recommended to protect your eyes against UV rays by wearing sunglasses (CE and protection class 2 to 4) and lenses with filters to prevent overexposure to blue-violet light. People who are subject to light from screens should take a break every 20 minutes and, in the case of dry eyes, moisturize eyes with saline solution. People who work in environments where they are at risk of flying materials should be equipped with protective glasses.

3. Correct vision with a prescription adapted to your visual needs

There’s a solution for every visual defect and vision need. Because these can change over your lifetime, we recommend that you get regular eye exams to adapt correction. A visual defect may worsen if improperly corrected.

Protection against UV and blue-violet light should become a norm in the future.

Dr. Walter Gutstein - Deputy Professor at the PCO Salus University and Clinical Director, Program SOLCIOE Eye Opening, Special Olympics Austria

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Essilor

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