Those wanting to prioritise their health should put getting an eye test at the top of their list, an expert has advised.
Dr John Mastronardi, former president of the Ontario Association of Optometrists, has told Healthzone that people commonly take their eyesight for granted.
He said that people consistently rate going blind as one of their worst fears but despite this too few people regularly have their eye health checked.
Many people do not consider their eye health as a conscious issue, he warned, saying that those without glasses are worst for this.
Dr Mastronardi said that many of the conditions that can have a serious negative impact on people begin before any symptoms begin to appear.
Keith Gordon, vice president for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, highlighted the importance of identifying potential conditions early.
He told the newspaper that almost every condition responds better to treatment in its early stages, making it crucial to obtain regular eye tests.
"The impact of eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration can usually be minimised if caught early enough," Mr Gordon explained.
He gave three key steps that those looking to maintain their eyesight should follow in order to boost their overall eye health.
Getting regular exams is the most important step that people can take in order to identify and treat any damage early.
Concerned people should also make an effort to give up smoking, as this can substantially increase an individual"s risk of developing macular degeneration, he warned.
Finally, he also highlighted the importance of using sunglasses especially for children and the protective effect that this can have.
The importance of children receiving regular eye tests was recently highlighted by Peachey Optometry Clinic"s Paula Peachey, who warned that if undetected these conditions could have a serious impact on learning and development.
by Martin Burns