SAVE YOUR VISION WEEK
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
OF AMERICA ** A PROCLAMATION
|Healthy vision is a precious gift that allows
us to enjoy the beauty of nature, the smile of a loved one, and the many
wonders in the world around us. Unfortunately for 14 million Americans,
eye problems can interfere with daily activities and inhibit the enjoyment
Health officials have identified the most
significant and preventable threats to vision. According to the Department
of Health and Human Service 's Healthy People 2010 report, visual impairment
represents one of our country's 10 most frequent causes of disability.
To help avoid or remedy vision problems,
we must remain dedicated to the prevention of eye injuries, emphasize early
detection of eye disease, work to research and develop new treatments and
rehabilitation therapies, and promote vision health awareness. All Americans
should take steps to ensure that eye health becomes a priority in our homes,
businesses, and communities. We should commit to receiving regular dilated
eye examinations; we should wear protective eyewear when necessary, both
recreationally and on the job; and we must make every effort to ensure
children age 5 and under receive vision screening.
The Congress, by joint resolution approved
December 30, 1963, as amended (77 Stat. 629; 36 U.S.C. 138), has authorized
and requested the President to proclaim the first week in March of each
year as "Save Your Vision Week." During this year's observance, let us
renew our commitment to fighting the causes of visual impairment and to
supporting good eye health. I encourage all Americans to learn more about
ways to prevent eye problems and to help others maintain the invaluable
asset of eyesight.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President
of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim March 3 through March
9, 2002, as Save Your Vision Week. I urge all Americans to make eye care
and eye safety an important part of their lives and to include dilated
eye examinations in their regular health maintenance programs. I invite
eye care professionals, the media, and all public and private organizations
dedicated to preserving eyesight to join in activities that will raise
awareness of measures we can take to protect and sustain our vision.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my
hand this second day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand two,
and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred
George W. Bush
This Proclamation is written every year around
the 1st of March.
Care of Your Kidneys May Save Your Sight
|Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness
in American adults. In addition to monitoring blood sugar and blood
pressure levels, patients with diabetes must also take special care of
In all adults with insulin-dependent (Type
I) diabetes and almost half of those with non-insulin-dependent (Type II,
commonly called adult-onset) diabetes, the function of both the kidneys
and the capillaries in the eye are inhibited. Although the exact
reasons for these problems are still being studied, it is thought that
increased blood pressure and changes in blood sugar levels carry most of
the blame. High blood pressure eventually thickens the blood vessel
walls and slows blood flow, which leads to both vision loss and kidney
failure. As the kidneys stop filtering blood, blood sugar levels
become even more volatile, causing further decreases in the elasticity
of the eye lens.
Half of all diabetics that suffer kidney
failure have also lost some or all of their vision. If a diabetic
with kidney failure receives a kidney transplant, the patient can usually
maintain the existing level of vision prior to the transplant operation.
A diabetic on dialysis needs to strictly monitor blood pressure and blood
sugar levels to guard against blurred vision or blindness.
Overall, for adults with diabetes, good care
for the kidneys - by maintaining blood pressure levels, carefully watching
blood sugar levels and increasing liquid intake - can also offer the best
protection for long-term vision.
old are your current frames? Does your vision appear as sharp as usual?
How long has it been since your last eye exam? It may be time to see your
optometrist. Save Your Vision Month, America's oldest and most-established
observance in the cause of eye and vision care, has been expanded to a
month-long event and reborn this year with a new slogan, 'Spring Starts
in March. Don't miss it.'
The Save Your Vision Month program focuses
on reminding Americans of the role good eyesight plays in enjoying life,
and the importance of regular eye exams.
Part of the program--The Great American Eye
Test-- was developed as a tool in determining when exams are needed. It
asks a series of "yes" or "no" questions about one's current eyesight.
A separate test exists for different groups: children, women, baby-boomers,
and for adults over age 50.
to increase your chances of having a lifetime of good vision include:
Schedule regular eye examinations, regardless
of your age or health. Many eye problems can be prevented or reversed if
detected early enough. At this visit, your eye care provider can thoroughly
your eyes and discuss any recent changes in your vision.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet that includes foods
that are rich in antioxidants.
Wear protective eyewear when playing sports
or when doing any activity in which objects may be hurled toward your eye,
such as mowing the lawn.
Wear sunglasses that block out ultraviolet light
when you are in the sun.
If you are diabetic, take all your medications
and follow your physician’s dietary advice.
If you stare at a computer for long periods
of time, take regular breaks to minimize fatigue.
Discuss any family history of blindness with
your eye care provider. Many eye diseases are hereditary and physicians
can be on the alert for certain conditions if they know you are at greater
risk of developing them.
Do not smoke and avoid subjecting your eyes
to second-hand smoke, exhaust fumes or other polluted air.
Diet and Vision
|What do carrots, spinach, broccoli and cantaloupe
have in common? They all contain compounds that can help keep your eyes
New research, coordinated by the National
Institutes of Health, found that foods rich in vitamins C and E, beta-carotene,
lutein and zeaxanthin may prevent cataracts and macular degeneration, the
most common causes of blindness in people over 50.
This study is one of many that point to the
benefits of consuming more plant foods to help prevent diseases. Eat more
spinach, broccoli, orange juice, green pepper, cantaloupe, kiwi and potatoes
all year round and help save your vision.
|If your job requires prolonged computer use,
(more than one hour in duration each day), you should have a complete visual
assessment even if you have no complaints or are presently wearing glasses.
This is emphasized for the computer user who had bifocals or reading glasses
prescribed prior to commencing prolonged use on computers. Remember, it
is important to tell your optometrist that you work at a computer.
sure to get regular vision examinations
Computer eyestrain is real. "More PC users suffer
vision woes than wrist injuries. Millions of Americans suffer from computer-related
eye problems that generate $1.15 billion in medical costs each year. The
American Optometric Association say that 12 million Americans visit eye
doctors each year because of computer-related problems or one out of every
five who come in for an eye examination."
The symptoms of eyestrain can include: headaches,
dry eyes, blurred or double vision, aching eyes, difficulty in changing
focus from near to far, and/or having difficulty seeing when driving at
night. Some common causes include: glare, inadequate static vision and
poor dynamic vision.
With the proper eye exam, the optometrist can
prescribe special glasses with a different power from your regular glasses.
These would be used only for working in front of your computer. If you
wear contacts, you would wear these glasses on over your contacts!
If you suspect that you might have eye problems,
or you work at the computer more than an hour a day (duh) then the Prevent
Blindness Organization is happy to send you literature about computer
related eye problems.
the Gift of Sight
Donor & Eye Banks