Keeping Your Eyes Healthy

Your sense of sight plays a vital role in helping you safely interact with your surroundings while providing you with the ability to visually comprehend and enjoy what’s in front of you. And because August is National Eye Exam Month, we are going to give you some interesting information pertaining to your eyes along with some advice on how to maintain healthy eyesight.

How the Eyes Work

All the different parts of your eyes work together to help you see.

First, light passes through the cornea (the clear front layer of the eye). The cornea is shaped like a dome and bends light to help the eye focus.

Some of this light enters the eye through an opening called the pupil (PYOO-pul). The iris (the colored part of the eye) controls how much light the pupil lets in.

Next, light passes through the lens (a clear inner part of the eye). The lens works together with the cornea to focus light correctly on the retina.

When light hits the retina (a light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye), special cells called photoreceptors turn the light into electrical signals.

These electrical signals travel from the retina through the optic nerve to the brain. Then the brain turns the signals into the images you see.

Your eyes also need tears to work correctly.

National Eye Institute

diagram of the human eye

Eye Diseases and Disorders

There are several eye diseases and disorders which can negatively impact your eyesight and potentially lead to other more serious health conditions. Some of the most common eye diseases and disorders include:

  • Refractive errors
  • Macular degeneration
  • Cataract
  • Glaucoma
  • Amblyopia
  • Strabismus
  • Diabetic retinopathy

Some of these diseases and disorders cannot be controlled; however, protecting your eyes and making regular visits to your eye doctor can help prevent many eye-related health conditions.

young adult male wearing sunglasses at the beach

Protect Your Eyes

Every day, you can take simple steps to keep your eyes healthy. Use these tips to protect your eyes from things that can harm them:



  • Wear sunglasses. Protect your eyes from the sun by wearing sunglasses — even on cloudy days! Be sure to look for sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB radiation.
  • Wear protective eyewear. Safety glasses and goggles are designed to protect your eyes during certain activities, like playing sports, doing construction work, or doing home repairs. You can buy them from most eye care providers and some sporting goods stores.
  • Give your eyes a rest. Looking at a computer for a long time can tire out your eyes. Rest your eyes by taking a break every 20 minutes to look at something about 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  • If you wear contacts, take steps to prevent eye infections. Always wash your hands before you put your contact lenses in or take them out. Be sure to disinfect your contact lenses and replace them regularly.

National Eye Institute

Helping Insure Healthy Eyes

Unfortunately, vision insurance is not always included with your health insurance plan. At CAI, we can help you find a health insurance plan that covers vision at an affordable price. Also, if you are a current NYSBG member or are considering becoming one, we offer three exclusive vision programs.

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