Save Your Vision Month

Download a Word version.


HARRISBURG, Pa. (February 26, 2014) - Governor Tom Corbett has proclaimed March as Save Your Vision Month. In recognition of this 87th annual observance, the Pennsylvania Optometric Association wants you to know how to keep your eyes and vision healthy.

Vision plays an important role in daily life - not a waking moment goes by that the eyes aren't working hard to see the world around us. According to the American Optometric Association's (AOA) annual American Eye-Q® survey, 40 percent of Americans are more concerned with losing their eyesight than their ability to walk or hear.

The Pennsylvania Optometric Association conducts Save Your Vision Month every March to help people preserve their vision throughout their lives.

It's easy to incorporate small steps into your daily routine to keep your eyes and vision in good health. By eating right, protecting against UV rays, and visiting your local eye doctor yearly, you're keeping your sight strong.


  1. Schedule yearly comprehensive exams. Eye care should begin early in life. The Pennsylvania Optometric Association urges parents to bring infants six to 12 months old to their local optometrist for a thorough assessment; under the Affordable Care Act, vision coverage is part of the Pediatric Essential Health Benefit. Millions of children up to age 19 now have access to yearly eye exams, follow-up care, and treatment through their local doctor of optometry. Comprehensive eye examinations not only test a patient's vision, but also can detect certain serious health problems like high blood pressure and diabetes. Early detection and treatment is the best way to maintain optimal vision at any age. By seeing a doctor of optometry yearly, patients can stay on the path to healthy eyes and vision.
  2. Protect against UV rays. Long-term exposure to the sun risks not only your skin, but also your eyesight as well. Just like sunscreen, sunglasses are a preventative tool best used year-round. Choose a pair that blocks more than 95 percent of UV-A and more than 99 percent of UV-B radiation. The AOA provides information and helpful tips for sunglasses selection at
  3. Give your eyes a break from digital device use. Two-thirds of Americans spend up to seven hours each day using computers or other digital devices like smart phones and tablets. This continual eye activity increases the risk for computer vision syndrome (CVS) and can cause problems such as dry eye, eyestrain, headaches, neck and/or backache, and fatigue. The Pennsylvania Optometric Association recommends the practice of the 20/20/20 rule; every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break and look at something 20 feet away.-more-A poorly arranged computer station can also contribute to digital eyestrain. Be aware that improper lighting, uncomfortable seating, and poor viewing angles can increase visual stress and discomfort. A helpful diagram from the AOA on how to set up your computer can be accessed at
  4. Eat your greens. Eating fruits and vegetables are not only good for your overall health, but also your eyesight, too - specifically the leafy green variety. There are six nutrients - antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, essential fatty acids, vitamins C and E and the mineral zinc - that have been identified as helping to protect eyesight and promote eye health. The body doesn't make these nutrients naturally so it's important to fit them into your daily diet, or supplement them with vitamins. The AOA's website offers more details at
  5. Practice safe wear and care of contact lenses. Over 40 million Americans use contact lenses to improve their vision; while some follow the medical guidelines for wearing those contacts, many break the rules and put their vision at risk. Contact lens wearers who don't follow their optometrist's recommendations for use and wear can experience symptoms like blurred vision, irritated eyes, pain in and around the eyes, or a serious condition called keratitis. This condition causes the cornea to become inflamed. AOA's contact lens safety website that offers tips and guidance can be found at


To learn more about eye and vision health, or to find a nearby doctor of optometry, please visit To find out how AOA members donate their services to help Americans save their sight through its charitable programs, visit the Optometry Cares-The AOA Foundation website.


About the American Eye-Q Survey:

The eighth annual American Eye-Q® survey was created and commissioned in conjunction with Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates (PSB). From March 15-18, 2013 using an online methodology, PSB interviewed 1,000 Americans 18 years and older who embodied a nationally representative sample of U.S. general population. (Margin of error at 95 percent confidence level)

About the Pennsylvania Optometric Association (POA):

The Pennsylvania Optometric Association is the professional organization for over 1,250 doctors of optometry in Pennsylvania. An affiliate of the American Optometric Association, POA promotes the highest quality eye and vision care by optometrists, represents optometry to state government, provides its members with post-graduate education and membership benefits, and conducts activities in the interest of the visual welfare of the public. For more information, visit

About the American Optometric Association (AOA):

The American Optometric Association, a federation of state, student and armed forces optometric associations, was founded in 1898. Today, the AOA is proud to represent the profession of optometry, America's family eye doctors, who take a leading role in an individual's overall eye and vision care, health and well-being. Doctors of optometry (ODs) are the independent primary health care professionals for the eye and have extensive, ongoing training to examine, diagnose, treat and manage disorders, diseases and injuries that affect the eye and visual system, providing two-thirds of primary eye care in the U.S. For information on a variety of eye health and vision topics, and to find an optometrist near you, visit