Statement Article from  Public Health Agency of Canada

Ministerial Statement – Vision Health Month – May 2016

May is Vision Health Month. It is important to preserve healthy eyesight and recognize any changes in vision.

Our vision begins before birth and continues to develop through infancy and childhood. Eye health is important to every aspect of a child's development and school readiness and helps prepare us for adulthood.

We must also consider the growing impact of technology. Many Canadians now experience eye strain as a result of the time spent using computers, smartphones and tablets.
Currently, aging is the single greatest factor driving vision loss in Canada.

With our aging population, it is expected that there will be a significant increase in the number and the prevalence of age-related vision loss. For our older population, vision loss comes with a series of symptoms and risks such as an increased likelihood of falls and fractures, depression, social isolation and loss of independence. Vision can also be negatively impacted by injury or chronic diseases such as diabetes.

There are things you can do to help maintain healthy vision.  Wearing sunglasses that provide UVA and UVB protection, quitting smoking, reducing your screen time, and even a healthy diet can help promote vision health. A daily dose of the vitamins and minerals found in fruits and vegetables may help slow the progress of age-related eye diseases such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataracts.  Always be aware of any changes in your eyesight. Eye care professionals can also help detect problems early and help you maintain good vision. 
I encourage you to protect your vision and get your eyes examined regularly. This month is a reminder of the importance of vision health and the steps that we can take to eliminate avoidable sight loss.

The Honourable Jane Philpott, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Health

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