People usually experience changes to vision and face concerns about eye health as they age. Age-related eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts can cause impaired vision and blindness. Making certain lifestyle changes and maintaining good nutrition can delay or prevent certain eye problems. Here are 9 tips to keep your eyes healthy as you age:
- Eat a balanced diet: One of the easiest ways for seniors to maintain their eye health is by maintaining a nutritious diet. Choose foods that are rich in antioxidants, like Vitamins A and C; leafy, green vegetables and fish. Many foods – especially fatty fish, such as salmon – contain essential omega-3 fatty acids that contribute to healthy eyes. There are also varieties of options that provide vitamins and nutrients that help with eye health such as kale, carrots, eggs, sweet potatoes, oranges and almonds are great sources. A balanced diet also helps keep you maintain a healthy weight, which can lowers your risk of obesity and related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, the leading cause of blindness in adults.
- Exercise: Physical activity improves blood circulation, which boosts oxygen levels to the eyes and helps remove toxins. Following a physician-recommended exercise plan has benefits for the eyes and also improves physical fitness.
- Stop Smoking: According to National Eye Institute, research has linked smoking to an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataract, and optic nerve damage, all of which can lead to blindness. So quit smoking.
- Take care to avoid eye injury: Eye injuries can have a huge impact on long-term eye and vision health. Wear protective eyewear or goggles when appropriate, such as when exposed to dust, flying particles or objects. Take care when using chemicals and take steps to eliminate fall hazards that can injure your eyes and body.
- Smart computer use: Using computer or phone screen for too long can cause:
- Blurry vision
- Trouble focusing at a distance
- Dry eyes
Computer screens can be more harmful to aging eyes, so older adults should be smarter while using computers or phones. Those who use a computer for long periods at a stretch should make sure that their desk has good lighting, take regular breaks, blink more often, and use corrective eyewear.
- Sunglasses: Wear sunglasses that block ultraviolet (UV) radiation and a hat with a wide brim when you are outdoors.
- Get a good sleep: Getting a good night’s rest is very important for eye health. Sleep is beneficial for overall health, well-being, and quality of life.
- Keep a check on health issues: It’s very common that older adults can have various health issues that affect their vision health. Understand how physical conditions and medications can impact the eyes. Your doctor may recommend more frequent eye exams to catch any issues early.
- Get regular vision screenings: Everyone needs a regular eye exam. As changes to vision and eye health can happen rapidly for older adults, they should get a vision test done once a year.
Once you hit the fifties make sure you get a vision test done once a year and follow your doctor’s recommendations on treatment plans and vision health.