African Americans are at higher risk for eye diseases like diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma, which can lead to vision loss and blindness unless detected early. To help increase eye health awareness and promote early detection of eye disease, the National Eye Institute (NEI) and its National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP) have launched Write the Vision: Make Your Plan to Protect Your Sight. This new initiative is developed specifically for African Americans and offers tips like the following to help protect your sight.
1. Get a comprehensive dilated eye exam. Because many eye diseases have no warning signs or symptoms, early detection is important for preventing vision loss and blindness. African Americans age 40 or older should have a comprehensive dilated eye exam as part of their regular healthcare routine, as directed by their eye care professional.
2. Learn your family’s eye health history. We don’t just inherit the shape or color of our eyes from our parents. We inherit their eye health, too. And, especially for African Americans, your family tree can put you at risk for glaucoma. Knowing if you are at risk for eye disease can help save your sight.
WATCH: Let’s Talk: African Americans & Eye Health