How to Protect Your Vision Health as You Age – 5 tips
- Don’t smoke
- Get proper exercise
- Eat right
- Protect your eyes from sun and blue light
- Get regular vision check-ups
How Our Eyes Change as We Grow Older
As we age, so do our eyes. As a normal function of aging, our eyes harden, ultimately affecting our ability to focus. The aging of the eye and hardening of its disc is called Presbyopia. Because of presbyopia’s effects, most people need reading glasses at some point in their lives.
At Visualites, we’ve dedicated our efforts into designing the best lightweight reading glasses possible. That said, it’s best to avoid needing them as long as possible, so we’d like to share some tips for maintaining your eye health and slowing down the effects of presbyopia. Regardless of the effort, we’ve put into designing the most fashionable and comfortable readers on the market, we’re sure you aren’t too eager to make your first purchase. The health of your vision is affected by numerous lifestyle choices you make every day.
Your Eyes Don’t Like it When You Smoke
Firstly–and this goes without saying (if we consider the damage it does to your general health)–put down the cigarettes. We know, we know, you’ve probably heard it a million times before, and we aren’t here to preach, but if eye health (and, of course, general health) is an especial point of concern for you, avoiding smoking can severely increase your chances of avoiding early eye problems. On top of this, smokers have a 50% risk of experiencing macular degeneration, a condition that not only weakens the eyes but can even lead to blindness. In our book, this alone makes it well worth the admittedly challenging ordeal of quitting.
Exercise Your Body to Strengthen Your Eyes
This second tip we’d like to share also comes back to general health. Believe it or not, among its many other benefits, frequent exercise greatly reduces inflammation that can cause this type of eye deterioration. Along with better blood flow, reduced risk of obesity, and so many other benefits, an active lifestyle can make your eyes significantly healthier. Plus, you’ll have more energy to open that book and have a good read to relax when the workout is done.
Your Eyes Like it When You Eat Right
Now, while it’s an exaggeration that carrots improve your eyesight, the American Optometric Association has proved through a lot of research that a healthy diet is absolutely integral to maintaining optimal vision health. Foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids (like fish, walnuts, and chia seeds) prevent a slew of vision problems. Additionally, according to various studies, people who tend to skimp on their daily allowance of vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and nuts also tend to have a higher chance of developing cataracts.
Protect Your Eyes from the Bad Stuff
Looks aside, you should always wear sunglasses when outdoors to protect your retinas and prevent cataracts, eye strain, cancer, and (yes, it’s real) sunburn of the eye.
If you work at a computer, be sure to avert your gaze from the screen at regular intervals in order to avoid digital eye strain. This is one area that blue light blocking glasses come in, but regardless of whether you own a pair, and especially if you don’t, always follow the 20/20/20 rule: Every 20 minutes look at something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Get a Check-Up for Eyes
Lastly, of course, have your eyes checked every couple of years (and even more often as you get older) to detect any problems before they become untreatable.
All of these things are just as important for kids and teens to be aware of and practice, so educate your children early in order that they can enjoy a lifetime of healthy vision. As it turns out, young people’s eyes are even more vulnerable to UV-related damage. Since UV damage is cumulative, over time this can lead to detrimental vision issues in the future, including cataracts and macular degeneration.
Caring for your eyes is an important part of your overall health and the steps above can help protect one of your most vital senses. This should be taken as seriously as monitoring for diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Don’t forget that having healthy eyes as you age is an extremely vital aspect of your life.
Jerry Willis is the owner of Lumen Eyewear and the computer glasses and reading glasses brand Visualites. Jerry has years of experience in eyewear frame and lens design and manufacturing of eyewear and is a member of the Vision Council of the United States of America. Lumen Eyewear is also a FDA licensed manufacturer and importer of reading glasses and computer glasses. Visualites is dedicated to bringing its customers products that not only improve their vision but the health of their eyes.