Tips for Maintaining Eye Health with Aging
Just like with every muscle and organ in the body, the eyes need to be given proper care to ensure their health. Especially as people age, certain eye issues, and even vision loss can become a problem.
Fellowship Square offers seniors tips for maintaining eye health as they age.
According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), adults may begin to have problems seeing clearly at close distances, particularly when reading or working on the computer, in their early to mid-40s. While this change, or loss, in vision is the most common age-related eye issue, changes in near vision generally stop around age 60. However, as people age, their risk for developing eye and vision problems increase.
According to AARP, some of the most common eye issues after the age of 40 include dry eye (due to the fact that tear production begins to decrease), glaucoma (which is the leading cause of blindness in those over the age of 60), macular degeneration (more on this below), cataracts (which can result in blurred or cloudy vision), detached retina and more.
Warning signs could appear in the way of the following symptoms — fluctuating vision; seeing floaters or flashes of light; loss of side vision and seeing distorted images. These symptoms could be a sign of something more serious going on such as age-related macular degeneration.
“The disease affects the macula, which is the part of your retina that is responsible for central vision,” according to the AOA. “The disease causes a blind spot in the middle of your field of vision.”
Due to this and other diseases, the AOA recommends regular eye exams because early diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases can help seniors preserve good vision throughout their lifetime. A routine eye exam is also important because during the exam, other health issues such as high blood pressure and diabetes can oftentimes get detected during the exam.
In addition to regular eye exams, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends other ways to protect one’s vision including maintaining a healthy weight; knowing one’s family eye health history; wearing sunglasses that block out 99 percent to 100 percent of UV-A and UV-B radiation from the sun’s rays; quitting smoking and eating a healthy diet rich in leafy greens such as spinach or kale. Other nutrients important for eye health include vitamin A and C, lutein and zeaxanthin, omega 3 fish oil, vitamin E, and zinc, which can be found in wild fish, nuts, beans, eggs, and fruits and vegetables.
“If you spend a lot of time focusing on one thing, such as a computer screen, your eyes can get tired,” the CDC reports, adding, “Try the 20-20-20 rule to reduce eye strain: every 20 minutes look away about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds.”
Fellowship Square encourages seniors to preserve their eye health with regular exams and proper care. After all, good vision is an important part of one’s overall well-being.