Protecting your eyesight is on of the most important things you can do to help maintain your quality of life. Some sight-threatening eye problems affect every one in six adults age 45 and older. The risk of vision loss only increases as you age.
To protect your eyesight and keep your eyes healthy as you age consider these tips:
Find out if you are at a higher risk for eye disease. Be aware of your family’s health history. Know if you are at risk for diabetes or high blood pressure.
Have regular physical exams to check for diabetes and high blood pressure. If these diseases are untreated you can accumulate eye problems. These to conditions in particular can lead to diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, glaucoma and ocular hypertension.
Look for warning signs of changes in your vision. If you start to notice a change in your vision, see your eye doctor immediately. Some sign to look for include double vision, hazy vision, having a hard time seeing in low light, flashes of light, floater, eye pain and swelling.
Exercise more frequently. The AAO (American Academy of Ophthalmology) suggests that regular exercise can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration by up to 70 percent.
Protect your eyes form harmful UV light. Always wear sunglasses with proper UV protection to shield your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays. This could help reduce the risk of cataracts and other eye damage.
Eat a healthy and balanced diet. Studies have shown that eating antioxidants can possibly reduce the risk of cataracts. The nutrients come from fruits and colorful or dark green vegetables. Also eating fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids may reduce your risk of developing macular degeneration. Eye vitamins are also something to consider to make sure that you are getting enough of the nutrients you need to keep your eyes healthy.
Have an annual eye exam. A comprehensive eye exam, along with a dilated exam can help determine your risk for major eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy. An eye exam also helps to ensure that your prescriptions for glasses or contact lenses are up to date.
Do not smoke. People who smoke are at a greater risk of developing age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.