If you’re like most people over the age of 40, you’ve probably noticed some slight changes in your eyesight during the past few years. Perhaps you’ve been finding yourself having to squint more when reading, and maybe you’ve started wearing over-the-counter reading glasses to make the print show up more clearly. Although there isn’t anything you can do to turn back time, there are some strategies available for keeping your eyes healthy and your eyesight as good as possible as you age. Following are five of them.
Wear Sunglasses When Outdoors
Neglecting to wear sunglasses when outdoors frequently results in damage from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, and this can occur even during winter. A good pair of sunglasses with UV protective qualities helps prevent this from happening. If you’re going to be outdoors for an extended period of time, consider wearing a hat with a brim for added protection.
If you smoke, you probably already know that there are plenty of good reasons to quit, and you can now add eye health to the list. Smoking results in the constriction of blood vessels in and around the eyes, therefore decreasing blood, causing your eyes to absorb elevated amounts of toxins.
Boost Your Diet
Fat-soluble plant pigments known as zeaxanthin and lutein have been found to protect the retina from damage by UV rays. Foods that are high in these pigments include kale, spinach, broccoli, peas, and sweet corn. Vitamin A is also essential for healthy eyes, and you can find it in abundance in carrots, yellow squash, sweet potatoes, yellow tomatoes, cantaloupe, citrus fruits, and eggs.
Eyestrain is hard to avoid these days because many people use computers extensively both at their jobs and during their leisure time. If possible, try to limit your screen usage, and if that’s not in the cards, consider asking your eye care professional for lenses designed to decrease screen glare. Failing to get an adequate amount of sleep also has the potential to wreak havoc on your eyesight by increasing levels of eyestrain.
Don’t Neglect Regular Eye Exams
Like almost all other potential health problems, early detection is key when maintaining optimal eyesight. Those over the age of 40 should schedule an eye exam on an annual basis. However, if you’ve got risk factors such as Type II diabetes or family history of debilitating eye conditions such as macular degeneration and glaucoma, ask for a recommendation on suitable screening intervals.
For more information on keeping your eyes healthy and your vision as clear as possible as your age, please feel free to contact the eye doctor New York residents rely on for the highest standard of care.