Tips to Keep Your Eyes Healthy
Keeping your eyes healthy is essential, especially as you get older. You can do several things to help ensure your eyes stay healthy and functioning properly. But first, let’s look at some common eye problems that can occur as you age.
What Are the Most Common Eye Problems
As you age, it’s not uncommon to develop some vision problems. Here are four of the most common eye problems that can occur:
- Cataracts: A cataract is clouding the eye’s lens, which leads to blurred vision. Cataracts are prevalent in older adults, and they usually develop slowly.
- Glaucoma: Glaucoma is a condition that damages the optic nerve, which is the nerve that carries information from the eye to the brain. It usually occurs when the pressure inside the eye becomes too high.
- Age-related macular degeneration (AMD): AMD is a deterioration of the macula, which is the central part of the retina (the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye). It’s the leading cause of vision loss in people over age 50.
- Diabetic retinopathy: Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that damages the blood vessels in the retina. With diabetic retinopathy, these blood vessels may leak fluid or even bleed. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in adults 20 to 74.
You can help prevent some of these eye problems by taking simple steps to protect your eyes and keep them healthy.
Practical Tips to Keep Your Eyes Healthy
Here are some practical tips you can follow to keep your eyes healthy:
Wear Sunglasses or Protective Eyewear
You should wear sunglasses or other protective eyewear when you are outdoors. Sunglasses help protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Look for sunglasses blocking out 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays. Not only do they protect your eyes from UV rays, but they also reduce glare and help you see better.
Along with sunglasses, you should also wear protective eyewear when participating in sports or doing any activity where there is a risk of getting caught in the eye. Make sure the protective eyewear fits properly and does not obstruct your vision.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy diet is important for your overall health, including your eyes. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, especially leafy green vegetables, oranges, and tomatoes, may reduce your risk of developing cataracts. Eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut, may help prevent AMD.
You should also limit your intake of saturated and trans fats and foods high in sugar. These types of foods can lead to obesity, which is a risk factor for developing diabetes.
Did you know that exercising regularly can help keep your eyes healthy? Exercise helps reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which, as we mentioned before, can lead to diabetic retinopathy. Exercise also helps reduce stress and improves blood circulation, both of which are good for your eyes.
Not only your eyes but your whole body benefits from regular exercise. So, aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week. If you haven’t been active lately, start slowly and build up gradually.
If you smoke, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your overall health, including your eyes. Smoking increases your risk of developing cataracts, AMD, and other vision problems. It also puts you at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease, leading to blocked arteries and reduced blood flow to the eyes.
What Should You Do if You Have a Vision Problem?
If you think you may have a vision problem, see your doctor or an eye care professional as soon as possible. Many vision problems can be treated successfully with a number of solutions. For example, Visian Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL) is a permanent refractive lens that can be surgically implanted in your eye to improve your vision. This procedure is usually recommended for people with myopia (nearsightedness) who are not suitable for LASIK surgery.
If you have a vision problem, don’t wait to get it checked out. The sooner you see an eye care professional, the sooner you can get started on treatment and improve your vision. Not all vision problems can be corrected, but early intervention can improve your chances of maintaining good vision.
The bottom line is that you can help keep your eyes healthy by taking some simple steps. Wearing sunglasses or other protective eyewear, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and quitting smoking are all things you can do to help protect your eyes. If you think you may have a vision problem, see your doctor or an eye care professional as soon as possible.