IN THIS ARTICLE:
- Dilated eye exams are the best way to detect eye diseases early.
- Protecting your eyes with safety glasses or goggles reduces the likelihood of eye injuries.
- Sunglasses that block out 100% of UVA and UVB radiation protect your eyes the most.
When it comes to your general health, you probably see your medical professional regularly. You get Army National Guard physical exams and try to stay physically fit. But what about your eyes?
The National Eye Institute (NEI) and its National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP) suggest five tips on how to protect your vision. NEI and NEHEP share information about eye diseases, eye protection, and general vision health tips through their websites.
MAKE YOUR VISION LAST A LIFETIME
1. Get a dilated eye exam. Getting a dilated eye exam helps detect eye diseases, such as glaucoma and diabetic eye disease, early. The eye exams you receive during an Army National Guard physical exam are a great start, but it’s important to get a comprehensive dilated eye exam, too. If you have TRICARE, the comprehensive dilated eye exam may be covered or offered at a reduced a price. You can locate a health care professional covered through TRICARE here.
3. Know your family history. Talk to your family members about their eye health history. It’s important to know if anyone has been diagnosed with an eye disease, since many run in the family. Understanding your family history will help determine if you are at higher risk for developing an eye disease yourself.
4. Use protective eyewear. Always protect your eyes! Soldiers are often at risk for eye injuries during deployments and training. Wear items like safety glasses, goggles, safety shields, or eye guards to protect yourself during target practice, while driving a convoy, or during weekend drills.
5. Wear sunglasses. When purchasing sunglasses, look for ones that block out 100% UVA and UVB radiation. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can increase your risk for getting an eye disease, such as cataracts. A wide-brimmed hat also offers great protection. Anytime you are outside, make sure you keep your eyes shielded from the sunlight.