Insight E-Newsletter May 2014

Welcome to the May edition of “Insight”. May is Vision Health Month and in this issue we’ll be talking about keeping our eyes healthy. Read on for tips on how to keep your family’s eyes healthy from childhood to retirement, and cook up a delicious meal with an eye-healthy recipe. Also, find out more about this year’s exciting Vision Health Month campaign!



Vision Health Month goes national

May is Vision Health MonthFor the past five years, CNIB staff, volunteers, clients, supporters and partners across the country have worked together to educate Canadians on the importance of vision health through CNIB’s Vision Health Month campaign.

This year, thanks to the support and determination of one of CNIB’s national board members, the senate has adopted a motion to officially recognize May as National Vision Health Month.

The Honourable Senator Asha Seth, a long-time member of CNIB’s national board, has been lobbying for support on this motion for more than a year. Her hard work and commitment to vision health is incredibly valuable and has truly paid off.

“As a physician, I can tell you that one ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, particularly where eye disease is concerned,” said the Honourable Senator and national CNIB board member Asha Seth. “Seventy-five per cent of vision loss is preventable or treatable. Let’s help Canadians take action to save their sight.”

Vision Health Month is a national public education campaign, initiated by CNIB. Throughout the month of May, CNIB and Doctors of Optometry Canada are calling on all Canadians to protect their families’ vision and get an eye exam from a Doctor of Optometry.

Many serious eye diseases causing vision loss have no symptoms, and can only be detected through a comprehensive eye exam. In fact, even someone with 20/20 vision may be at risk.

“Vision Health Month helps empower Canadians with the knowledge they need to take the required steps to healthy vision for life,” said John Rafferty, President and CEO of CNIB. “CNIB is grateful to the Honourable Senator Asha Seth for her work as a strong advocate of vision health.”

Vision loss can happen to the whole family and at any age. To find tips on how to protect your family’s eye health, visit cnib.ca/visionhealthmonth .

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Your family’s eyes need you

Did you know that 75 per cent of vision loss is preventable or treatable? Keeping your eyes healthy and safe is simple if you know what to do. Depending on your age, the steps to healthy vision might be different. So, how can you take care of your children’s eye health, your parents’ and your own? Here are a few things you can do to keep your family’s eyes healthy:

  • Take your child to get an eye exam. Your child should have a complete optometric eye exam between six and nine months of age, before starting kindergarten, then annually throughout the school-aged years.

  • Make sure your child protects their eyes while playing sports. Research shows that 90 per cent of eye injuries in sports are preventable, so consider protective glasses or facemasks, even in sports where it’s not yet common, like soccer.

  • Make a healthy diet a family priority. Good nutrition can help keep eyes healthy. Focus on foods with vitamin A, C and E, as well as lutein, omega-3 fatty acids and zinc.

  • Quit smoking. People who smoke are three to four times more likely to develop age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of vision loss in Canada.

  • Wear sunglasses all year round. Exposure to harmful UV rays is associated with a higher risk of developing AMD, cataracts, eyelid skin cancer and tissue growths on the surface of the eye.

  • Test your sight at home. In addition to regular eye exams, download the Amsler Grid at cnib.ca and post it on the fridge. This at-home test will help find early signs of age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss in Canadians over 50.

For a complete list of ways to protect your family’s eye health, visit cnib.ca/visionhealthmonth.

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Prepare an eye-healthy meal

Omega-3s. Beta-carotene. Vitamin C. What do all these nutrients have in common? They’re all great for your vision health.

Although most Canadians don’t realize it, eating the right foods can go a long way in preserving your sight.

Take care of your eyes by cooking up the following delicious recipes, which are chock full of vitamins and nutrients that are great for your vision. These recipes come care of Doctors of Optometry Dr. Laurie Capogna and Dr. Barbara Pelletier, authors of “Eyefoods: A Food Plan for Healthy Eyes” and “Eyefoods for Kids: A Tasty Guide to Nutrition and Health”.

Citrus Zinger

Pleasantly tart and full of vitamin C, this juice is the ultimate refreshment on a hot, humid day. Eye nutrients: vitamin C.

Turkey and Orange Pepper Chili with Lime

This twist on classic chili is a hit all year round. Make it a day ahead, as the flavours enhance the next day. Eye nutrients: Zeaxanthin and lutein, vitamin C, vitamin E, fiber.

Sabayon with Fresh Fruit

Sabayon is the French version of a traditional Italian dessert. Serve with fruit of the season. Berries, citrus and kiwi are always great choices. Eye nutrients: Lutein, vitamin E, vitamin C, DHA, zinc.

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Shop CNIB

“Eye Foods for Kids: A Tasty Guide to Nutrition and Eye Health” by Dr. Laurie Capogna and Dr. Barbara Pelletier, $14.95

Through 48-pages, this fascinating book teaches young readers (ages nine to 13) how the foods they eat contribute to their eye health. Information on diet and nutrition is presented using simple language, and the full-colour illustrations and close-up photography keep kids engaged. Published in 2013.

Click here to order “Eye Foods for Kids: A Tasty Guide to Nutrition and Eye Health”. To browse hundreds of other Shop CNIB products for everyday living, visit one of our 20 stores across the country, browse our webstore or call the CNIB Helpline at 1-800-563-2642 to order a free catalogue.

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Help us change the lives of people who are blind or partially sighted

Researchers estimate that more than one million Canadians are living with vision loss today. As a Partner in Vision, your generous donation of $10 or more a month will help people who are blind or partially sighted build the skills, confidence and independence to enjoy life again – to see beyond vision loss. Become a Partner in Vision.

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Note:The information provided in this article is for awareness purposes only, and should not replace the expertise of an eye doctor. CNIB recommends that you visit your doctor of optometry regularly for thorough eye exams, up-to-date medical information and advice tailored to your own unique vision health and family history.

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