So you’re getting older, but that doesn’t mean that it’s inevitable that you will lose your eyesight. In fact, maintaining the health of your eyes is a relatively easy process, no matter what your age is.
If you’re a senior, consider these 8 ways to protect your eyesight.
Know Your Family History
Your family’s health history can impact your eyes. Any of the following traits can increase your risk for sight-threatening eye diseases:
- A family history of diabetes
- A family history of high blood pressure
- African-American decent over age 40
Early diagnosis can limit vision loss and help to safeguard your eyesight, which is why regular eye exams are so important.
Have Regular Physicals
Regular physical exams to check for diabetes and high blood pressure will help to prevent conditions that can threaten your eyesight. Diabetes and high blood pressure, in particular, can cause conditions like diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, glaucoma and hypertension.
Learn the Warning Signs
Any changes in your vision should have you making an appointment with your eye doctor right away. Some signs to look for include the following:
- Double vision
- Hazy vision
- Trouble seeing in low light
- Frequent flashes of light
- Eye pain and swelling
Any of these symptoms require immediate attention.
Some studies suggest that regular exercise, like walking, can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration by as much as 70 percent.
Always Wear Sunglasses
Always wear your sunglasses when you’re outdoors to protect your eyes from harmful UV light. Make sure the sunglasses you choose have the proper UV protection to help reduce your risk of cataracts and other eye damage.
Studies show that antioxidants may help to reduce the risk of cataracts. Include lots of fruits and colourful or dark green vegetables in your diet. Eating fish that’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids may reduce your risk of developing macular degeneration. You may also want to consider supplementing your diet with vitamins known to be good for your eyes to make sure you’re getting enough of the nutrients needed for eye health.
Regular Eye Exams
It can’t be said often enough: regular eye exams can detect major eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, which has no early warning signs or symptoms. Having regular eye exams will also ensure that your eyeglass or contact lens prescription is kept up-to-date.
The health risks associated with smoking have been well documented. People who smoke have a greater risk of developing age-related macular degeneration and cataracts than non-smokers.
Following these steps is no guarantee that you will always have perfect vision, but maintaining a healthy lifestyle and having regular eye exams will certainly go a long way to decreasing your risk of developing eye problems that could potentially lead to poor eyesight.