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Healthy Eyes

How do your eyes work?

There are many different parts of the eye that help to create vision. We "see" with our brains; our eyes collect visual information and begin this complex process.

Eye diagram showing the macula and fovea (black and white).
Eye diagram showing the macula and fovea (black and white). NEI Catalog number NEA09.

How can you keep your eyes healthy?

Incorporate your eye health as part of your regular health check-ups. Having a comprehensive dilated eye exam is one of the best things you can do to make sure that you're seeing the best you can and that you're keeping your eyes healthy.

Millions of people have problems with their vision every year. Some of these problems can cause permanent vision loss and even blindness, while others are common problems that can be easily corrected with glasses or contact lenses.

What is a comprehensive dilated eye exam?

A comprehensive dilated eye exam is a painless procedure in which an eye care professional examines your eyes to look for common vision problems and eye diseases, many of which have no early warning signs. Regular comprehensive eye exams can help you protect your sight and make sure that you are seeing your best.

NEI: Dilated Eye Exam

National Eye Institute doctor discusses the importance of having a dilated eye exam.

Diagram of the Eye Before and After Dilated Eye Exam.

NEI Recommendations

Tips for Keeping the Eyes Healthy

Common Vision Problems

The most common vision problems are refractive errors, more commonly known as

Know Your Risk Factors...

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration usually occurs in people who are age 50 and older. As people get older, the risk increases. Other risk factors include the following:


The risk of cataract increases as you get older. Other risk factors for cataract include:

Diabetic Retinopathy


Anyone can develop glaucoma. Some people, listed below, are at higher risk than others:

Protecting Your Eyes

A simple way to protect your eyes is to use protective eyewear, at work or play.

YouTube Videos

Watch NEI videos on getting a Comprehensive Dilated Eye Exam, Common Vision Problems, Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), Cataract, Diabetic Eye Disease, Dry Eye and Glaucoma.

Department of Health and Human Services NIH, the National Institutes of Health