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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to help us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO

Eight tips to protect your vision

Published in Eye Care, For the Health of It Author: Jeffrey Pearson,OD

Did you know that women are at higher risk for visual impairment and blindness than men? Two out of three people who are blind or visually impaired are women.

Women are more likely to suffer vision loss from eye diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration because women:

  • Live longer.
  • Are at greater risk for autoimmune diseases.
  • Are more likely to undergo certain cancer treatments that may affect vision.
  • Experience normal age-related hormonal changes that may affect their eyes.

Safeguard your vision

  1. Get regular eye exams. There are no warning signs for most eye diseases. A comprehensive, dilated eye exam is the only way to catch eye diseases early.
  2. Eat a nutritious diet. Dark leafy greens contain antioxidants that protect your eyes. Fish such as salmon, tuna and halibut provide omega-3 fatty acids.
  3. Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight increases your risk of developing diabetes and other chronic conditions that can lead to vision loss.
  4. Manage chronic conditions. Diabetes, hypertension and multiple sclerosis can result in inflammation of the optic nerve, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and even blindness.
  5. Know your family’s eye health history. It’s important to know if anyone — parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles — has been diagnosed with an eye disease because many of them are hereditary.
  6. Wear sunglasses. Look for sunglasses with at least 99 percent UVA and UVB protection. Top that off with a wide-brimmed hat.
  7. Use goggles and safety glasses. Protecting your eyes with the right eyewear can prevent injuries from happening while doing your job, chores or sports. This includes safety glasses, sports goggles, safety shields and eye guards.
  8. Stop smoking or don’t start. Research has linked smoking to an increased risk for age-related eye diseases.

Make your vision a health priority!