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Keep Vision Strong With These Eye Health Basics

By Kate Gardner 

When was the last time you got your eyes checked? If you're like a lot of Americans, it's been a long time. According to, doctors recommend getting your eyes checked at least every five years (more often as you age), but many of us don't. A survey from the Centers for Disease Control found that people often don't go to the eye doctor because they don't have insurance to cover it or they can't afford it. Combine the cost with the fact that many respondents felt their vision was fine, and it's no wonder that many of us are skipping our exams. Unfortunately, vision changes often happen slowly over time and we may not realize that we need eye care till the damage is done. 

Eye Basics

You look at your eyeballs all the time, but how well do you know them? Your eyes are made up of several parts that work together to allow you to see. WebMD gives us the basic parts of the eye. 

  • Iris - This is the ring-shaped part of your eye that gives you your eye color 
  • Sclera - The sclera is the white of your eye  
  • Pupil - The pupil is the black circle in the middle of your eye that changes size depending on how much light there is around you  
  • Cornea - The cornea is the clear dome that covers your eye 
  • Conjunctiva - This is the thin layer of tissue that covers your entire eye (except for your cornea)  

Common Vision Problems

There are a number of different eye and vision problems. While many people are born with eye and vision issues, our eyes do tend to have problems as we age. Here are several common vision problems. 

  • Amblyopia - Amblyopia occurs when the vision in one eye is stronger than in the other, so your brain learns to favor your good eye. The weaker eye may lose strength, causing it to "wander," though this isn't always the case. 

  • Astigmatism - If your cornea doesn't curve correctly, your eye can't focus light onto the retina as it should. This causes blurry vision. 

  • Hyperopia - Also known as farsightedness, hyperopia makes it hard to clearly see things that are close. 

  • Myopia - With myopia, you are nearsighted, meaning that you have trouble seeing things in the distance. 

  • Cataract - Cataracts happen when your eye's internal lens becomes cloudy, making your vision cloudy as well. 

  • Glaucoma - Glaucoma is caused by pressure inside your eye. This pressure damages your optic nerve, leading to vision loss. Usually your peripheral, or side, vision goes first. 

Healthy Eyes

There are a number of things you can do to keep your eyes as healthy as possible, according to WebMD. First, protect them. Wear protective eyewear in situations in which your eyes could be damaged (like when working with wood) and protect them from sun damage with sunglasses. Eat a balanced diet to make sure you're getting nutrients important for good eyesight. Reduce strain on your eyes by limiting your time in front of computer screens. And, of course, have your eyes checked regularly. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Maple Grove, Minn.

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