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Maintaining Eye Health as You Age

Healthy aging month graphic

September is Healthy Aging Month – a month dedicated to providing inspiration and practical ideas for adults 45 and older to improve their physical, mental, social, and financial well-being.

As we age, our bodies and the ways we care for them do too. This includes our vision. After age 40, your risk for vision-related diseases and conditions increases significantly. So, it’s important to follow these tips in order to maintain healthy vision as you age.

Schedule Routine Comprehensive Eye Exams

Many eye and vision problems have no obvious signs or symptoms. Routine eye exams can help aid in early diagnosis of undetected diseases and other eye conditions like diabetes retinopathy (the leading cause of blindness in adults over age 40), macular degeneration, or glaucoma.

It’s also important to understand your family history of eye diseases and conditions, and to discuss these concerns with your eye doctor at your eye exam.

Avoid Sun Exposure

It’s no secret that sun exposure is harmful to our skin. But did you know that your eyes can become damaged if not properly protected from UV rays? Even on gloomy days, be sure you wear UV-blocking sunglasses when outside.

Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet

Eat your carrots! Just kidding. Well, kind of. Yes, carrots are full of vitamins that are great for your eyesight. But a well-rounded, healthy diet is what will make the most difference when it comes to your eye health – not just one food. Incorporate foods that are rich in omega three fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene like fruits, vegetables, fish, eggs, and nuts into your meals.

Stop Smoking

There are many ways that smoking negatively impacts your health, including your vision. Smoking leads to an increased risk of developing cataracts as well as optical nerve atrophy which leads to vision distortion, vision loss, and blindness. By quitting smoking, you greatly reduce your risk of these vision issues.

Rest Your Eyes

Overuse of digital devices and lack of sleep cause strain in your eyes. Over time, this causes irritation, difficulty focusing, and some studies even suggest that it can lead to retina damage and age-related macular degeneration. Be sure to follow the 20/20/20 rule when using digital devices, and always aim for 7 or more hours of sleep per night.

These are just a few ways you can ensure healthy vision as you age. When it comes to your vision health, we’re here for you. If you’ve been experiencing any changes to your vision that you believe may be age-related, schedule an exam with one of our qualified optometrists today.