Frequently Asked Questions

What can be done to protect my vision?

Have your Eyes Examined Regularly

It is very important to have a comprehensive eye examination at least once every other year.  However, if you have diabetes, it is critical to have a comprehensive eye exam every year.

Early eye disease often has no warning signs.  Even if you think you can see well, a comprehensive dilated eye exam is important to protect your sight.

A comprehensive eye exam includes:

  • An eye test that checks how well you see at various distances.
  • An exam where drops are placed in your eyes to widen, or dilate, the pupils.  Your eye care professional uses a special magnifying lens to examine your retina and optic nerve for signs of damage and other eye problems.  After the exam, your up close vision may remain blurred for several hours.
  • An eye test that checks how well you see at various distances.
  • A measure of the pressure inside your eye. Numbing drops may be applied to your eye for this test.

Stay in Good Health

Staying healthy is also an important part of good vision.  You can reduce the risk of vision problems by:

Be Safe

Eye injury is a major cause of vision impairment.  In fact, about one million eye injuries occur each year and nearly half of these occur in the home.  The leading causes of injuries include:

  • Household Cleaners
  • Workshop and yard debris
  • Battery acid
  • Sports-related incidents
  • Fireworks
  • Over-exposure to sunlight
  • Unsafe toys and games

Most eye injuries can be prevented by:

  • Wearing safety goggles when working with chemicals or power tools
  • Wearing protective eyewear and helmets for sports
  • Never using fireworks
  • Seeing a doctor if your eye has been injured. Even minor injuries should be seen by a doctor to rule out long-term damage.

I already have vision loss, what can I do to stay healthy?

If you already have vision loss it is important to stay healthy and avoid injury to prevent further health issues.

Avoid Injury

Poor vision increases the chances of falling, and more than half of all falls that require hospitalization happen in the home. There are a few simple steps you can take to prevent a fall or other injury such as:

  • Make your home safer. Remove tripping hazards (throw rugs, wires, other objects on the floor). Make sure you have enough lighting in the right places.
  • Properly manage your eye condition and/or other chronic conditions.
  • Stay active to keep muscles toned in order to maintain balance.
  • Have your doctor or pharmacist review all medications. Some medicines, or combinations of medicines, can make you sleepy or dizzy.

Choose Healthy Behaviors

1Check with your doctor before starting any exercise program or changing your diet. Some people have health conditions or take medicines that could be affected by a change in diet or vitamin supplements.

I don’t have eye care insurance, where can I get help?

Most eye care services require a separate insurance policy, but Medicaid and Medicare do provide some coverage for an eye examination and eye glasses.

The following are resources for eye care programs: