Ask the Expert: What can I do to maintain my eye health?

Answers provided by Dr. Mitchell Gossman, M.D., ophthalmologist at Eye Associates of Central Minnesota, St. Cloud

Question: Is there anything I can do to maintain my eye health?


Yes, there are things you can do, and things you can refrain from doing, in order to maintain your good vision.


1. Consider the fact that we don’t normally take our washing machine in for a periodic examination to make sure things are working properly, and help prevent future problems. We normally use it until there’s some problem, and have it fixed when something’s wrong. Why is it then that we are encouraged to get a periodic general physical examination? Why not wait until something seems wrong and then get it checked out? Because it’s better to get many health problems detected early when it’s more treatable. Take, for example, colon cancer. Someone may feel fine, but discover blood in his or her stool, get this checked out, and discover they’ve probably had colon cancer for years, but it’s already very advanced to the point where it’s difficult to treat. If one has a yearly physical exam and periodic colonoscopies it can be life-saving to catch this earlier. With your eyes, if you have glaucoma, macular degeneration, retinal tears, etc., but you don’t know about it and only go in when you notice something’s wrong with your vision, it may be too late and permanent damage has already occurred. You can’t just go in and get a replacement part like you can for a washing machine, we need to catch these things when they are treatable.


Periodic eye exams are important in catching serious ailments early on, while they are still treatable. These conditions could include glaucoma, macular degeneration and retinal tears, among others. Stock photo

2. Your primary care physician can care for many things, but normally they don’t have the equipment necessary for a complete eye exam. You should undergo periodic eye examinations and proceed with an eye examination if your primary care provider recommends it.


3. If you are already being treated for an eye condition, it’s important that you return for follow-up visits as recommended so your condition doesn’t get out of hand.


4. Smoking is associated with macular degeneration, problems with the blood supply to the eyes, cataracts, and more, so do not smoke.


5. Maintain a healthy diet rich in vitamins.


6. Get seen if you’re having concerning symptoms.


7. Use your eye medications as ordered. If you’re having side effects from your medication, or aren’t tolerating it in any way, don’t just stop it without being seen.


Find Out More


Dr. Mitchell Gossman is a comprehensive ophthalmologist at Eye Associates of Central Minnesota. The office is located at 628 Roosevelt Road, Suite 101, in St. Cloud. To make an appointment or to learn more, call 320-774-3789 or email info@eaofcm.com.


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