It is no secret that age affects various aspects of health and wellness. One of the changes that tends to occur over time is that our eyes don’t see as well as they used to. While natural changes can be expected, we can do a lot to foster good eyesight and long-term eye health while we’re at it. Here, we suggest a few expert tips for doing this.
Learn about common eye problems.
Even when vision has been good throughout early adulthood, many people eventually need reading glasses at some point. This is because the lens of the eye loses flexibility with age. This may be related to hormone changes or the decrease in collagen production that is associated with lines and wrinkles. Without flexibility, the lens cannot transfer light as well as it used to to the back of the eye. More than just learning about common eye problems, we suggest that people look at their family history of eye diseases like glaucoma to they better understand their risks as they age. With early care, even potentially serious eye diseases can be managed quite well.
Engage in healthy habits.
We all know that eating well and exercising regularly are good ways to maintain a healthy weight and also support heart health. What may not be obvious is the fact that an active lifestyle is also associated with a decreased risk of vision loss. The fruits and vegetables that are recommended for optimal wellness support the eyes, too, by providing adequate nutrients that keep ocular structures better lubricated and adept.
Wearing sunglasses is also a healthy habit for long-term vision. The UV light in sunshine degrades collagen around the eyes and also causes cumulative damage within the eye. UV exposure is associated with an increased risk of cataracts later in life.
Smoking is a habit that harms multiple parts of the body, including the heart, lungs, and the eyes. This habit substantially increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts, both of which can diminish vision as they progress.
Schedule routine eye exams.
Every person can benefit from eye exams that go beyond reading letters on a chart. That is just a vision screening. An ophthalmologist performs comprehensive exams that utilize appropriate instruments to observe all parts of the eye. Screenings are painless and typically take less than an hour. They provide valuable information about current and future eye health and should occur yearly.
Know when to seek immediate care.
Most of the eye problems that occur develop over time and provide some clues about their existence. However, some can develop out of nowhere. Seek immediate care from an ophthalmologist or emergency room if you experience sudden vision loss, blurriness, floaters, flashes, double vision, or eye pain.