Promoting the importance of healthy vision and regular eye examinations is a daily undertaking for doctors of optometry, but it's a message that's especially strong in May.
This month, participate in Healthy Vision Month, and educate the public about what they can do to ensure their vision and eyes are healthy. This observance is organized by the National Institutes of Health's National Eye Institute (NEI).
- Get regular dilated eye examinations from an eye care professional.
- Live a healthy lifestyle by maintaining a healthy weight, eating nutritious foods, abstaining from smoking and managing chronic conditions.
- Know your family history, because many eye diseases are hereditary.
- Use protective eyewear to prevent injuries on the job, while playing sports or doing simple chores around the home.
- Wear sunglasses to protect eyes from the sun's ultraviolet rays.
Share the Healthy Vision Month message with your community
In order to spread the message about making eye health a priority and make Americans aware of Healthy Vision Month, several resources are available to doctors and the public. Here are a few ways you can participate and show your support:
- Share the message on social media. The NEI has provided a number of social posts—for both Facebook and Twitter—that can be used by individual doctors, practices and organizations. Graphics—infocards and infographics—and videos are also available for distribution.
- Use your organization's communication power. If your practice—or an organization you work with or volunteer for—has a newsletter, blog or website, use pre-drafted email newsletter content or drop-in article to spread the message.
- Host an event. Get active about promoting healthy vision in your community. Host an event, where you can meet with community members face to face, using a variety of resources and patient education materials.
These messages about the importance of eye health are significant to doctors of optometrys and the AOA all year round. Many patient education materials supporting the pillars of Healthy Vision Month—such as booklets on nutrition and the importance of proper sunglasses—are available through the AOA Marketplace.
The FDA is authorizing vaccines to combat COVID-19. But doctors of optometry are still fighting to recover from conditions that limited the essential eye care they provide and to keep their staffs safe from COVID-19 itself, according to the third and final survey by the AOA Health Policy Institute on the profession and the pandemic.