If you can see clearly, you probably believe your eyes are healthy. This may be true – but not always. To maintain good

eye health, the American Optometric Association recommends that everyone – including children – have regular, comprehensive eye exams conducted by an eye care professional (ECP).

To support World Sight Day on Thursday, Oct. 9, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc. (JJVCI) is asking the public to take the #EyePledge to promise to get their eyes tested, and then share that message on social media channels. The #EyePledge campaign supports the global call-to-action from the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) to get your eyes tested.

"Most people know that to stay healthy, you should have an annual check-up with your family doctor," says Brian Schwam, MD, chief medical officer and vice president, Regulatory Affairs at Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc. "However, many people don't realize that same rule applies to your eyes. Everyone – including people with perfect vision – should have a comprehensive eye examination with an eye care professional on a regular basis."

Many eye and vision problems have no obvious signs or symptoms; therefore, people are often unaware that problems exist. Basic eye screenings, which usually only test visual acuity, are helpful but do not replace comprehensive eye examinations by an ECP, which include additional testing. Only an optometrist or ophthalmologist can give that type of in-depth eye exam, which includes dilation of the eyes. That step provides a clear look at blood vessels and also the condition of the retina, crucial to vision. Early diagnosis and treatment of eye problems can increase the odds for successful treatment of eye issues and sometimes prevent blindness.

What can be detected in an eye exam? You may be surprised to learn that signs of general health problems, such as diabetes and hypertension, can sometimes be detected through an eye examination. These findings may in fact be the first sign of important health issues. In addition, ECPs diagnose eye problems ranging from focusing difficulties easily corrected by glasses to sight-threatening diseases like glaucoma and macular degeneration.

Approximately 285 million people worldwide are visually impaired, and approximately 80 percent of visual impairments and blindness can be prevented or corrected. An estimated 19 million children are visually impaired. Of these, 12 million children are visually impaired due to refractive errors, a type of focusing problem that can be easily diagnosed and corrected.

Source: Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc.,

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