Vision loss can be devastating to Canadians of all ages – one in seven of whom will develop a major eye disease in their lifetime. Every May, we mark Vision Health Month, a time to reflect on just how important good vision is to our everyday lives and the simple steps we can take to maintain it.
Maintaining good vision health is not hard – 75% of vision loss can be averted through simple steps. This starts with a comprehensive eye exam. An eye exam does more than test your vision – it can also detect symptoms of diseases like diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, brain tumours, multiple sclerosis and cancer. The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends adults receive an eye exam every two years. Infants should have their first exam between six and nine months, while school-aged children and those over 65 should have one annually.
An integral part of your overall health and well-being, many factors contribute to vision health. This includes maintaining a healthy weight. Being overweight can increase your risk of developing diabetes and other conditions, leading to vision loss – including diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, stroke and glaucoma.
I’m very proud of the work that Canadian researchers are doing to better understand and address eye diseases and disorders. This Vision Health Month, I encourage all Canadians to make visiting an optometrist a part of their regular health routine and learn more about the easy ways in which they can protect their eyesight!
The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Health