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Open Your Eyes: The Myths & Facts About Protecting Against Vision Loss

Fact or Fiction:

  • Carrots can be good for your eyes – Fact.[1]
  • Reading in the dark is bad for your vision – Fiction.[2]
  • Wearing UV sunglasses in bright sunshine can help protect your eyes – Fact.[3]

When it comes to your vision, it may be difficult to separate fact from fiction. Like sitting too close to the television damages your eyes (also false).4 But there are things that can in fact harm your vision.

Open Your Eyes: The Myths & Facts About Protecting Against Vision Loss

One of them is diabetes, which can lead to a disease called Diabetic Macular Edema or DME. Another is the simple act of aging; after age 60, you have a greater likelihood of developing a disease called wet age-related macular degeneration or wet AMD.5

Both DME and wet AMD are retinal diseases caused by damaged blood vessels in the area of the macula, the region of the retina located at the back of the eye. 5, 6 This area is important for the sharp, straight-ahead vision we need to read, recognize faces, and even drive our cars.6

Both diseases have the potential to cause severe vision loss and even blindness.

Open Your Eyes: The Myths & Facts About Protecting Against Vision Loss

Common symptoms of wet AMD and DME include straight lines that appear wavy and blurry vision.5, 6 Wet AMD is often mistaken as signs of general vision loss due to aging, and DME can be overlooked due to many other diabetes-associated complications.

The best course of action is to visit your eye doctor and have your eyes checked to understand about how you can help protect against vision loss.

Jonathan L. Prenner joined me to explain why it’s important to prioritize your vision. Dr. Prenner also discussed ways everyone can work with their eye doctor to help in protecting against vision loss caused by these retinal diseases. Joining him was Maryanne Kass, who shared her personal medical story.


Take a look below.



For more information, visit: LookToYourFuture.com

Protecting Against Vision Loss

Meet Our Guests

Protecting Against Vision Loss

Dr. Jonathan L. Prenner holds a number of leadership positions in the field of vitreoretinal surgery.  Dr. Prenner serves as both the Reviews Article Section Editor and Assistant Editor of the standard scientific journal for our field, RETINA: the Journal of Retina and Vitreous Diseases.  He is the founder and chief medical editor of the journal New Retina MD and hosts the Retina Today Video Journal Club.  In addition, he sits on the board of directors of the American Society of Retinal Specialists.  Dr. Prenner serves as Interim Chairman and associate clinical professor in the department Ophthalmology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.  He has been elected by his peers for inclusion in Best Doctors in America since 2008 and is listed as a U.S. News and Castle Connolly best doctor and as one of New York Magazine’s Best Doctors.

Dr. Prenner received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his medical doctor degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.  

Dr. Prenner is Board Certified in Ophthalmology.  He is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Society of Retina Specialists, Retina Society, Society of Heed Fellows, Alpha Omega Alpha, ARVO, Club Vit, and the Buckle Vit Society. He maintains special interests in complicated retinal detachment, secondary intraocular lens surgery, diabetic eye disease, and age-related wet macular degeneration.


Maryanne Kaas was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes at the age of forty. She knew poor vision and amputation could result from the disease, but always thought that “it could never happen to me.” So she put it out of her mind. As the years passed, Maryanne discovered that she was not immune to vision issues. Her eyes gradually worsened, and she eventually needed cataract surgery. The operation revealed other damage, and so at the age of forty-nine, she was diagnosed with Diabetic Macular Edema (DME). Maryanne realized she could not risk being in denial any longer, so she began treatment.

Now Maryanne is able to continue going to the movies, teaching traveling, and doing other things she loves. She also speaks publicly about her condition. She has lost enough of her vision to understand that the sight she still has is a blessing. And so now, she wants to help others see things for what they really are.


[1]Harvard Health. Safeguarding Your Sight. http://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/safeguarding-your-sight. Accessed October 6, 2016.
[2] Harvard Health. Safeguarding Your Sight. http://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/safeguarding-your-sight. Accessed October 6, 2016.
[3] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Eye Health Tips. https://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/basic_information/eye_health_tips.htm. Accessed October 6, 2016.
4 AAO. Can Sitting Too Close to the TV Damage Your Eyes? https://www.aao.org/eye-health/ask-ophthalmologist-q/can-close-tv-viewing-damage-eyes. Accessed November 21, 2016
  1. National Eye Institute. Facts About Age-Related Macular Degeneration.https://nei.nih.gov/health/maculardegen/armd_facts. Accessed November 21, 2016
  2. National Eye Institute. Facts About Diabetic Eye Disease. 2015.https://nei.nih.gov/health/diabetic/retinopathy. Accessed October 5, 2016.



Protecting Against Vision Loss

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