“Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.” – Mark 8:25
More than being the window of our soul, our eyes allow us to see the beauty of the world around us. Yet most of the time, we tend to keep our eyesight for granted. But when we encounter vision problems, most of us would be willing to try anything just to have our 20/20 vision back.
In the Philippines, the Department of Health (DoH) reported that more than two million Filipinos nationwide were found blind or suffering from poor vision. The low level of knowledge regarding eye health has been found as the leading cause of eye problems or diseases. This concern points to the need to improve eye health programs of the government and the private sector.
Common Eye Problems
At some point, most people experience eye problems. For some, early detection helps in improving or even reversing these problems. Some can be treated at home. Here are some common eye problems that you need to have checked with an eye specialist:
- Eye strain
- Red eyes
- Night blindness
- Lazy eye
- Cross eyes
- Color blindness
- Dry eyes
- Excess tearing
- Retinal disorders
- Corneal diseases
- Eyelid problems
- Vision change
- Problems with contact lenses
Essential Eye Care
In order to prevent these kinds of diseases, eye care is essential to one’s overall health. Here are healthy tips for a healthy vision:
- Maintain a healthy diet. Make sure to include the following food in your diet for better eye health: fish, nuts and legumes, seeds, citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, carrots, sweet potatoes, beef, eggs and water.
- Exercise to improve blood circulation and improve oxygen levels to the eyes. Being active helps lower risk of health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol which affects your vision.
- Make it a habit to sleep early. Getting enough sleep keep your eyes rested and healthy
- Don’t smoke as smoking exposes your eyes to high levels of oxidative stress.
- Wear sunglasses with both UVA and UVB protection from harmful ultraviolet (UV) light.
- Give your eyes a rest by taking a break every 20 minutes when using your computer for a long time
Different Types of Eye Specialists
In every eye problem, there is a specific specialist or eye doctor that you can find and consult.
A medical or osteopathic physician who specializes in medical and surgical care of the eyes. This type of doctor helps in preventing eye diseases, diagnoses and treats refractive, medical and surgical problems related to eye diseases and disorders. Ophthalmologists are trained to provide the full spectrum of eye care, from prescribing glasses and contact lenses to complex and delicate eye surgery to improve or prevent the worsening of eye and vision-related conditions.
A health care professional who specializes in the function and disorder of the eyes, detection of eye disease and some types of eye disease management; conducts eye examinations, prescribes corrective contact lenses and glasses and diagnoses and treats eye diseases and disorder.
While Opticians are not not doctors and cannot give you eye examinations, they also get a certificate for a year or two-year degree. They are responsible for filling the prescription of your eye doctor such as checking lens prescriptions and helping in adjustment and repair of frames and glasses as well as taking facial measurements to help you decide on what type of lens and frame is best for you.
Eye Health Services under Universal Health Care
The Department of Health (DOH) will be providing comprehensive eye care services under the Universal Health Care (UHC) Law, The inclusion of eye care services will integrate eye care within local health systems, and responding to emerging eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.
“The DOH is fully committed to working with our partners to address blindness and visual impairment in our country. Together, we can achieve our vision of Filipinos enjoying the right to sight, with no one going needlessly blind or visually-impaired,” DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III concluded.
Whenever you have concerns about your eyes, consult an eye doctor. Remember, most eye health problems can be treated when you act on it at its early stage.