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Eye Health Center

Eye and Vision Quiz: Is Your Eyesight Worsening?

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Staring at the computer screen for too long will ruin your eyes.

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Staring at the computer screen for too long will ruin your eyes.

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Explanation: Yes, staring at any screen for too long can make your eyes tired and dry, and give you headaches. But there's no evidence it leads to permanent eye damage.

Even so, it's a good idea to take regular breaks to make computer work or Internet surfing more comfortable. Use the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, take a break and focus on an object at least 20 feet away, for 20 seconds.

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If you don't notice any problems with reading or driving, you don't need to get your eyes checked.

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If you don't notice any problems with reading or driving, you don't need to get your eyes checked.

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Explanation: Many people do not notice that their vision is getting worse until a lot of damage has been done and the problem has become severe.

Diseases like age-related glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration -- which makes it harder to see details like reading small print -- may begin in midlife. But, they may not become obvious until much later.

That's why it's recommended that adults get an eye exam every 1 to 2 years depending on your risks for eye disease. That can help make sure you discover any vision problems and get them treated as early as possible.

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Which of the following will damage your eyesight?

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Which of the following will damage your eyesight?

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Explanation: The eye is like a video camera; it adjusts to account for light and distance. And virtually everyone will start to develop presbyopia (difficulty focusing on objects at close range) in their early 40s. Using drugstore reading glasses, or any kind of reading glasses, won't make that worse.

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3-D movies are bad for your eyes.

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3-D movies are bad for your eyes.

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Explanation: There are no long-term studies on this, but eye doctors say that there is no reason why seeing 3-D movies or playing 3-D video games should cause lasting problems with your vision.

Some people can experience headaches or motion sickness while viewing 3-D movies or games. But those are probably a sign of an existing problem, such as poor depth perception.

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Seeing "halos" around lights is normal.

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Seeing "halos" around lights is normal.

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Explanation: If you're seeing halos around lights, it could be a normal variation in your eye, such as the shape of your cornea. Eyeglasses or contacts may even cause halos, which your eye doctor can usually fix with changes in your prescription. But halos can be a sign of several eye problems. Some of the most common: cataracts -- where your vision gets cloudy. Or glaucoma -- where pressure builds up in your eye and can cause blindness.

So if you're seeing halos, it's a good idea to get your eyes checked out by an eye health care professional. She can review treatment options with you.

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Most of the time, floaters are nothing to worry about.

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Most of the time, floaters are nothing to worry about.

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Explanation: So what are floaters? They're clumps or strands formed in the gel inside the eye that keeps its shape. Floaters are often harmless.

But if suddenly you notice a lot more floaters, your vision quickly gets worse, or you see flashes -- seeing floaters could mean that you have a retinal tear or detachment. Call your eye doctor right away for an examination.

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Sunglasses are like sunscreen for your eyes -- you should wear them.

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Sunglasses are like sunscreen for your eyes -- you should wear them.

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Explanation: Sunglasses aren't just a fashion statement. Like your skin, your eyes are vulnerable to the sun's UV rays. Exposure to bright sunlight may up your risk of eye conditions like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Looking directly at the sun is particularly dangerous; it can cause permanent damage to the retina.

So how do you protect your peepers? The color of sunglasses' lenses isn't important. Look for sunglasses that have lenses that block 100% of both UVA and UVB rays. And go for glasses with lenses that reach to your temples -- they'll block out more rays.

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Smoking ups your risk of getting cataracts.

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Smoking ups your risk of getting cataracts.

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Explanation: Smoking as a young adult can increase your risk of developing cataracts. If you have other types of eye diseases, it can also cause the symptoms of those eye conditions to get worse. Talk with your health care professional about the best ways to kick the smoking habit.

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Which of these should make you call your eye doctor:

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Which of these should make you call your eye doctor:

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Explanation: Unlike the natural "blind spot" that we all have in our peripheral vision, a blank spot right in the center of your vision is not normal. This type of blind spot is caused by age-related macular degeneration (AMD) -- one of the most common causes of vision loss in older adults.

Symptoms include blurriness, dark spots in the central area of vision, difficulty seeing faces clearly, and trouble seeing when going from bright light to low light.

AMD doesn't usually cause total blindness, but it can make it impossible to perform daily tasks like driving and reading. Early intervention can help to slow its progression. Taking Vitamin E, C, beta carotene, and zinc supplements has been shown to slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration for some people. The "wet" form of this condition can also be treated.

If you have a tender, red bump on the edge of your eyelid, you may have a stye, or clogged gland called a chalazia. Treat it with a clean, warm compress three to five times a day, and it should drain on its own. Don't squeeze or try to "pop" it. See a doctor if it doesn't get better with home treatment.

An eyelid twitch can be annoying but is usually not serious and will go away on its own. See your doctor if the twitching lasts longer than a week.

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Eyesight gets worse as you age.

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Eyesight gets worse as you age.

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Explanation: By age 45, most people with normal distance vision will need glasses for reading. By 65, one out of every three people has some form of vision-impairing disease. Even without specific, common diseases of the aging eye -- such as age-related macular degeneration -- many older people have other problems with their vision, like with night driving.

Although genetically you may be destined for some age-related vision loss, we do have control over other things that can affect vision -- such as nutrition, smoking, and exposure to sunlight.

Getting eye check-ups can also help you catch disease early and weigh your treatment options. While some eye diseases have no known treatments or cures, many causes of vision loss can be treated and, if not completely reversed, at least slowed.

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Your Score:  – You correctly answered  out of  questions.
Your Score:  – You correctly answered  out of  questions.

Results: You're seeing clearly! You know the signs of vision loss.

Results: Your view is little blurry, but you know a bit about how vision gets worse.

Results: Uh-oh! Looks like you learned a lot about when vision gets worse. Want to take the quiz again?