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6 Ways To Maintain Eye Health If You’re Over 50

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Certain lifestyle choices we make can affect our vision.  This is especially true for those that are 50 and up. Fortunately, there are certain actions we can take to protect our sight and our vision.

6 Tips for 50+ Eye Health

  1. Eat Well

    A well-balanced diet goes a long way.  Maintaining a healthy body usually promotes healthy eyes, and reduces the odds of developing serious eye diseases. Nutrients and nutritious foods, which help prevent vision loss include:

    • Vitamin A: Carrots, spinach, kale, egg yolks, dairy products
    • Vitamin C: Citrus fruits and juices, broccoli, potatoes, green peppers
    • Vitamin E: Whole grains, eggs, sunflower seeds, vegetable oils
    • Fatty Acids: Coldwater fish, such as mackerel, rainbow trout and salmon; corn oil, sunflower oil
    • Lutein: Kale, spinach, broccoli, brussels sprouts, corn
    • Zinc: Poultry, meat, fish, dairy products, whole grains
  1. Quit Smoking

Smoking can significantly increase the chances of developing age-related macular degeneration and cataracts, as well as diabetic retinopathy in diabetics. If you smoke, the sooner you quit, the better you will be. 

  1. Exercise

Exercising for at least 20 minutes a day is great for your whole body, including your eyes.  It increases blood flow to the optic nerve and retina.  It isn’t necessary to engage in strenuous exercise.  Even just a brisk walk is enough. 

  1. Protect Your Eyes

Sunglasses

Protect your eyes from ultraviolet rays with UV-blocking sunglasses.  That can slow down the development of cataracts, prevent sun damage to your retina, and lower the risk of skin cancer near your eyes.

Protective eyewear

Another way to protect your eyes is to wear protective eyewear. If you play sports or work with materials such as wood, glass or metal, it is a good idea to wear protective eyewear.  That can protect your eyes from splinters and shards, as well as fast-moving objects like a tennis or racket ball.

  1. Give Your Eyes a Rest

If you spend a lot of time reading, driving or looking at digital devices, you may develop eye strain and eye fatigue. It is a good idea to implement the 20-20-20 rule. For every 20 minutes you spend on the computer or your cell phone, take a 20 second break and look at something 20 feet away.  

  1. Have an Eye Examination Regularly

A comprehensive eye exam is so important because it can detect eye conditions early.  It's like having a general physical examination for the one part of your body that is so critical in helping you stay connected to the rest of the world. 

You may not have any symptoms until vision loss has already occurred.

These conditions include:

    • Age-Related Macular Degeneration
    • Cataracts
    • Glaucoma
    • Diabetic Retinopathy

When these problems are detected early, we can often treat and prevent permanent vision loss or even blindness.

Presbyopia, the loss of ability to focus at near, is a normal part of aging.  Fortunately, this problems is readily treatable with eyeglasses so you can continue to do near activities that you enjoy: reading, using your cell phone or computer use, knitting or anything you enjoy doing at near. 

These changes can be challenging, both emotionally and physically, but the good news is that you can control them by implementing the tips above.

Schedule an eye examination with Family Eye Care in Old Bridge to check your eye health today! 

 

Q&A

How does aging affect your eyes?

Aging causes changes in every part of your body, including your eyes. The lens inside the eye becomes less flexible and that makes it more difficult to focus on near objects and tasks like reading. Other common age-related eye problems include:

  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Dry Eyes
  • Floaters
  • Changes to Peripheral Vision

Can I do anything about my chances of vision loss?

The good news is that most vision impairment and blindness can be prevented through early diagnosis and treatment. That's why it is so important to have a yearly eye examination.