Does 20/20 vision mean I have healthy eyes?

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Photo Credit: lcrfwired.org

“Hindsight is 20/20.” A common phrase indicating that hindsight is perfectly clear vision. But is that really case? Is 20/20 vision the stamp of healthy eyes? EnVision decided to tackle the topic and bring a clearer understanding of what it truly means to have 20/20 vision.

If you have 20/20 vision or better, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have “perfect vision.” There are other important elements of vision, such as peripheral awareness, eye coordination, depth perception, focusing ability, and color vision that are contributing factors to overall eye health.

A comprehensive eye exam by your doctor can diagnose problems, if any, that are affecting your ability to see well. In addition to refractive errors (e.g., astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness), your doctor can also detect eye conditions, like glaucoma, cataracts, or macular degeneration, and larger health conditions, including diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension.

To find out more on the topic, what a 20/20 diagnosis means and other great topics, visit the VSP newsletter.

Tea to See Raises Funds for Prevent Blindness Georgia

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On February 23, 2014, Prevent Blindness Georgia hosted our 3rd annual Tea to See. With 165 guests in attendance, including our donors and many new friends, we enjoyed a beautiful spring day sipping mimosas, drinking tea and enjoying sandwiches and sweets.

Many of the ladies ushered in the spirit of spring in their hats and spring dresses. Attendees enjoyed the tranquil melodies of harpist Catherine Rogers, who delighted the crowd with a variety of musical selections. A few lucky guests took home door prizes ranging from a painting by Eva Musierowicz to a stylish pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses.  Ultimately our guests attended the Tea to support Prevent Blindness Georgia and learn more about why our programs matter. Tracie Holloway, longtime advocate and supporter of PBGA, shared her struggle with glaucoma and how important it is to visit your eye doctor as often as is recommended. Diagnosed with glaucoma at 19, she knows more than most about the importance of regular eye exams.

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We were also very pleased to introduce our new fundraising initiative, the Jenny Pomeroy Circle of Service.The Circle of Service was designed to honor the life and legacy of Jenny Pomeroy and her dedication to preserving sight and preventing blindness for all Georgians.

The Circle of Service connects donors with counties and regions with vision services across Georgia that are in need of the most assistance. This will also give them the opportunity to designate their donation to areas with the most need, or with a county or region of their choice.

The Tea to See was a huge success! We are so very grateful to AlconChubb Group and VeinInnovations for their sponsorship of the Tea.  Our goal was to raise more than $20,000 to support our vision programs and we came very close with more than $18,000 raised!

To see more photos from the event or to keep up with PBGA events, log on to our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/preventblindnessgeorgia.

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PBGA Offers Evidence about the Effects of Smoking at Fulton County Commission Meeting

The compelling story below about the link between eye disease and smoking  was presented at the Fulton County Board of Commissioners meeting earlier this year in conjunction with facts linking smoking, diabetes, and vision loss. Join with  us as we work to close the loopholes in the Fulton County smoking regulations so that all are protected from second hand smoke.

“Although I’m now a Gwinnettian, I grew up in Fulton County’s District 4 – Commissioner Lowe’s district. My mother still owns the house I was raised in.

My father – a wonderful man who passed away 11 years ago of lung cancer – was a smoker until age 62. He stopped smoking then, but the damage from many years of smoking had already been done.

And today, my mother suffers from vision loss due to Age-Related Macular Degeneration – possibly a result of second hand smoke from my father’s cigarettes. And my siblings and I are likely candidates for this eye disease as well.”

- Barbar Myers, Former PBGA Director of Public Education

Smoking causes blindness.

Studies show a strong link between smoking and the development of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). AMD is a condition that primarily affects the part of the retina responsible for sharp central vision. It is one of the leading causes of blindness in older adults and has no cure. Studies from the American Journal of Ophthalmology found that smokers are 2 ½   times more likely to develop AMD.

Diabetics are 25x more likely to become blind.

In addition, smoking has been shown to contribute to the development of type-II diabetes as well as increase the severity of the symptoms of the disease for those who have it and continue to smoke.

Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness for working-aged adults. In fact, people with diabetes are 25 times more likely to become blind. The longer someone has diabetes, the greater their risk for developing diabetic retinopathy. High blood pressure and poor control of blood sugar levels also increase the risk of blindness.

As a member of the Smoke-free Coalition of Fulton County, Prevent Blindness Georgia has joined forces with others who are working to provide education about the dangers of smoking and second hand smoke. We invite you to support the activities of the coalition and to invite a member of the coalition to speak at organizations that you’re a part of or at public health forums in your districts.

Learn more about this grassroots movement at www.breatheeasyfulton.org. 

Amazon Purchases Can Support Prevent Blindness

Screen Shot 2013-11-21 at 2.51.16 PMHave you begun your holiday shopping? Do you enjoy giving back to worthy causes? What if we told you that while holiday shopping you could support great organizations with great causes such as Prevent Blindness Georgia.

AmazonSmile let’s you do such a thing!

AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com) is a website operated by Amazon that allows customers to donate a portion of their purchases to worthy causes – including Prevent Blindness Georgia. The AmazonSmile Foundation  donates 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to select organizations.  The same selection of products, low prices, and shopping features that are offered on Amazon.com are offered on  AmazonSmile.  Here’s all you need to do to get set up:

  • Simply go to smile.amazon.com.
  • When first visiting AmazonSmile, you will be prompted to select a charitable organization. Enter Prevent Blindness Georgia in the search box and then pick National Society to Prevent Blindness-Atlanta.
  • Shop using your normal Amazon account. Your shopping cart, Wish List, wedding or baby registry, and other account settings are all the same.
  • Tens of millions of products are eligible for donations. Eligible products will be marked “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation” on their product detail pages.

What a great and easy way to take care of your holiday shopping and support the great work of Prevent Blindness Georgia! Please pass along to your family and friends.

How Safe are Your Child’s Toys?

December is Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness Month.

Do you know the facts about toy related injuries ? In 2011, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported an estimated 262,000 toy-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms. Of these injuries, 44% were classified as lacerations, contusions, or abrasions and 45% were to the head and face area. Males accounted for 59% of the injuries and 74% were to children younger than 15.

With the facts in mind, here are recommendations for toy safety.

- Read all warnings and instructions on toys.

- Avoid toys with sharp or rigid points, shafts, spikes, rods, and dangerous edges.

- Ensure toys are age appropriate. Keep toys intended for older children away from younger children.

- Avoid flying toys and projectile-firing toys.

- Be aware of items on playgrounds and in play areas that pose potential eye hazards.

PBGA 2013 Annual Report

Transitions, Prevent Blindness Georgia’s 2013 Annual Report, has been printed, sent out across the state and featured on our website. Have you had a chance to check it out? This year’s report features the great accomplishments of our Star Pupils and Vision Outreach programs, the success of our Tea to See and Swing fore Sight fundraisers, updates on advocacy and awareness efforts, recognition of our partners, donors and supporters, and a heartfelt dedication to Jenny Pomeroy.

This Thanksgiving season, Prevent Blindness Georgia is thankful for all of our wonderful supporters, donors, sponsors, partners, board members, and staff. PBGA has seen lots of Transitions this year and we thank you for helping us stay strong and continue our mission to preserve sight in the state of Georgia.

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Eat For Your Eyes Online Recipe Contest

Prevent Blindness America has launched “Eat For Your Eyes” Online Recipe Contest. The contest seeks on original recipes  that include eye healthy ingredients and benefit those with, or who are at-risk for, diabetes.

The number of individuals with diabetes and prediabetes continues to rise every year.  According to the 2012 Vision Problems in the U.S. Report from Prevent Blindness
America and the National Eye Institute, more than 7.6 million people ages 40 and older have diabetic retinopathy. The longer someone has diabetes, the more they are at-risk for vision loss from diabetic eye disease and related eye diseases, such as glaucoma and cataract.

Fortunately, for some, simple lifestyle changes can help delay or even prevent developing diabetes and its effects in the future.  Maintaining a healthy diet is one of those steps.

As part of the “Live Right, Save Sight!” program, Prevent Blindness America is conducting an online contest seeking recipes that benefit  those with diabetes and include ingredients that are also healthy for the eyes.  The contest ends November 30, 2013.

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Winners will be chosen at random from all entrants that comply with the contest rules. Winning recipes will be published on the Live Right, Save Sight!  section of the Prevent Blindness America website and will receive Amazon.com gift cards – $200 for 1st place. $100 for second place, $50 for third place .


“We know that diabetes and vision loss is a serious issue that continues to negatively affect millions of Americans,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness America. “It is our hope that through the ‘Eat for Your Eyes’ contest, we can encourage people to think about steps they can take today, even through diet modification, that can help save vision in the future.”

So, go on, start working on those Thanksgiving recipes! Mix it up a little this year and add a dish to the menu that meets the contest guidelines. If the family loves it, submit it and hope to be a winner!

For more information or to submit your recipe click the button below.

Enter the "Eat for Your Eyes" Recipe Contest

All entries should include:

  • Recipe name
  • List of ingredients with measurements  (must include at least two eye healthy ingredients and adhere to diabetes-friendly guidelines)
  • Description of how it is prepared
  • Explanation about why the recipe entry is healthy for diabetes patients and those with prediabetes
  • Full name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Email address

Eye healthy ingredients:

Regularly eating the following foods are healthy for your eyes.

Vitamin A: Carrots, leafy green vegetables, low-fat dairy products, sweet potato, cantaloupe, red pepper
Vitamin C: Citrus Fruits, berries, kiwi, bell peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts
Vitamin E: Almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds
Lutein/Zeaxanthin: Kale, spinach, collard greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, corn, green beans, green peas, eggs
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, halibut, bluefish, rainbow trout, flaxseed, walnuts
Zinc: Oysters, lean beef, lean pork, skinless poultry, shellfish, beans, low-fat dairy products

Diabetes dietary guidelines: 

Diabetes dietary guidelines incorporate portion and calorie control with a mixture of high fiber carbohydrates, lean proteins, heart-healthy fats, and many low carbohydrate vegetables.  Even though what goes into the meal is important, it is just as important to limit the use of highly refined carbohydrates, saturated fats, sodium, and cholesterol. Include the following types of food:

High Fiber Carbohydrates: Legumes (beans, peas and lentils), 100% whole grains (pasta, rice, flour, quinoa, oats, barley), fruit, nuts
Non-starchy Vegetables: Salad greens, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, bell peppers, green beans, cucumbers, beets, mushrooms, onions, okra, radishes, cauliflower, carrots, celery, cabbage
Healthy Proteins: Non-starchy: Fish (not fried), seafood, eggs, lean beef, lean pork, skinless poultry

Starchy: Legumes (beans, peas, lentils), quinoa

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, halibut, rainbow trout, flaxseed, walnuts
Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated Fats: Avocados, almonds, pecans, walnuts, olives, and canola, olive, corn, sunflower, and peanut oils (in moderation because they are high in calories)

Foods to avoid:

Highly refined carbohydrates: White bread, sugar, refined flour, regular pasta, white rice, fruit juices, sweetened tea, soda, candy, and snack foods
Saturated Fats: High-fat dairy products (full-fat cheese, cream, ice cream, whole milk, 2% milk, sour cream), high-fat meats (bologna, hot dogs, sausage, bacon), butter, gravy, chocolate, palm and coconut oils, poultry skin, lard
Trans Fats: Processed snack foods (crackers, chips, muffins, cookies, cakes), shortening and stick margarines
Cholesterol: High-fat dairy products, high-fat meat, poultry skin, liver, organ meats
Sodium: Table salt (including sea salt), canned vegetables, deli meats, hot dogs, bacon, sausage, condiments–limited use okay (soy sauce, hot sauce, mustard, ketchup, BBQ sauce), pickles, canned soup broth

 

 

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