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Simple Tips for Healthy Eyes!

Lighthouse International is celebrating Healthy Vision Month in May with the government agency the National Eye Institute. Our campaign focuses on doing the simple things to help protect your eyes! There are many things you can do to keep them healthy and make sure you are seeing your best. Follow these easy steps for maintaining healthy eyes well into your golden years.

You might think your vision is fine or that your eyes are healthy, but visiting your eye care professional for a comprehensive dilated eye exam is the only way to really be sure. Many common eye diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration often have no warning signs. A dilated eye exam is the only way to detect these diseases in their early stages.

You’ve heard carrots are good for your eyes. But eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, particularly dark leafy greens, and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids is also important for keeping your eyes healthy.

Sunglasses are a great fashion accessory, but their most important job is to protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Purchase sunglasses that block out 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation.

Regardless of age, most of us spend at least a couple of hours a day on the computer. Intense computer viewing may result in computer vision syndrome (CVS). Individuals who are experiencing visual fatigue should try to take breaks from the computer every 15 to 20 minutes.

For more information on healthy vision, visit Lighthouse.org.

In The NewsStudy Finds Avastin and Lucentis Equally Effective in Treating Age-Related Macular Degeneration

More help may arrive for people with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In a new report from the Comparison of AMD Treatments Trial (CATT), the drug Avastin was found to be as effective as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Lucentis for the treatment of AMD.

AMD, which destroys the macula, a cluster of light-sensitive cells in the central part of the retina, is the leading cause of vision loss among older Americans.

The CATT report, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, is the first study to compare the effectiveness of Avastin and Lucentis for AMD.

Avastin, which is made by Genentech, was developed to prevent blood vessel growth that enables cancerous tumors to spread. Genentech later developed Lucentis, made from a protein similar to Avastin, to thwart blood vessel growth in AMD. The FDA approved Lucentis for treatment of AMD in 2006.

In 2008, the National Eye Institute (NEI) began CATT to compare Lucentis and Avastin for treatment of wet AMD. The study found that the improvement in visual acuity was almost identical for either drug. In addition, no difference was found in the percentage of patients who had a gain or loss in visual function. While the FDA has not evaluated the data from CATT, the study offers new hope for people with AMD.

“The cost differential is significantly different between Avastin and Lucentis,” says Dr. Bruce Rosenthal, Chief of Low Vision Programs at Lighthouse International. “This will afford the opportunity for treatment to many individuals who are unable to pay for the more expensive treatment.”

For more information on AMD, visit Lighthouse.org.

Lighthouse Store

Dr. RosenthalEvery month, Lighthouse International’s staff of industry leading experts will answer select vision related questions. This month our expert is Dr. Bruce Rosenthal. Visit Ask the Expert to submit your questions for next month!

Q: I’m 46-years-old and I’ve noticed that small print is blurry when I try to read it close up. I know presbyopia is part of the aging process, but are there any exercises I can do to ward it off?
A: There have been many "systems" that profess the benefits of eye training to ward off prescription glasses. There are, however, no multi-center research studies published in peer review journals that substantiate the claims of training. Read on for the answer to this question and the rest of May’s Ask the Expert selections.

Lighthouse Store

Shop Now - Link to storeLighthouse Store Product of the Month:

Looking for a nightstand lamp to help you read at night? The Extra Flex Book Light is one of our best sellers! It features a bright, non-glaring glow that makes for a comfortable reading and work light.


About the Lighthouse:

Lighthouse International is a leading non-profit organization that helps people of all ages who are at risk for, or are experiencing, vision loss. Through services, education, research and advocacy, the Lighthouse helps people with low vision and blindness enjoy safe and independent lives. Support for Lighthouse International comes from individual donors, foundations and corporations. Your support is always needed, appreciated and valued. Donate today!

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