Today, we’d like to go over a few of the most common age-related eye problems and offer tips on keeping your eyes healthy and strong.
Many of us will begin to need reading glasses as we age, even if we’ve never needed glasses before. This happens because the lenses in our eyes naturally lose some of their flexibility over time, making it more difficult to adjust our focus from objects that are far away to those that are nearby. Aside from this loss in flexibility, other conditions develop as we age as well—some more serious than others.
Common eye problems and diseases that come with advanced age include dry eye, glaucoma, detached retina, macular degeneration, and cataracts. Most can be treated, delayed, or reversed, especially when we catch the problem early on in its development.
The best time to start working on your eyes’ health is now, even if your eyesight is currently perfect, because long-term healthy habits are crucial for prevention.
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Here are several things you can do in your daily life to reduce your risk of developing age-related vision problems:
An active lifestyle is good for the entire body, and that includes the eyes. Studies have shown that people who lead sedentary lives lose more vision as they age than more active people.
What you eat can reduce your risk for age-related macular degeneration and other eye problems. Bell peppers, carrots, dark leafy greens, blueberries, sweet potatoes, turkey, wild salmon, and chia seeds all contain important nutrients for maintaining healthy vision.
We all know we shouldn’t look directly at the sun, but even indirect sunlight can harm our eyes, and the effects can be cumulative over time. Wear sunglasses with UV protection to keep your eyes safe.
Just as staying active is good for both your eyes and overall health, smoking is bad for your eyes and overall health. It greatly increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration as well as the well-publicized risks of heart disease and lung cancer.
Take regular breaks from looking at electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers. Staring at screens for hours often leads to digital eye strain, but if you follow the 20-20-20 rule and spend twenty seconds looking at something twenty feet away every twenty minutes, your eyes won’t tire as quickly.
We’ll be able to catch signs of eye problems and make sure everything’s working the way it should, but we can only do that if you’re coming to see us on a regular basis.
While many age-related eye conditions develop over time, some can crop up seemingly out of nowhere. Come see us right away if you experience any of these symptoms: sudden blurriness or loss of vision, increase in the number of “floaters” you see, flashes of light, eye pain, double vision, or redness or swelling of your eye or eyelid.
We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to catch age-related eye problems early. If it’s been a while since your last appointment, we’d love to see you and make sure your eyes are in great shape, because we want you to be able to continue doing all of the vision-related things you love!