September is Healthy Aging Month - Keep Your Eyesight Healthy

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September is Healthy Aging Month!

Older man getting eye exam

Keep Your Eyes Healthy

Growing old is a process which brings about many opportunities and developments, from major transformations, such as eventually becoming a grandparent or going back to college to simple everyday life changes, such as beginning a new workout program. Don’t lose out on any of these opportunities. Take stock of your eye health to make sure your eyes are healthy and you are seeing your absolute best.

While vision reduction and loss of sight are certainly not a normal component of aging, some vision changes such as losing focus, having trouble distinguishing between colors such as blue and black, and needing more sunlight to see well are common. These changes can often be corrected with contact lenses or glasses and improved lighting. Age Related Eye Diseases

Individuals are also at much higher danger for vision loss from certain eye diseases and conditions as they age, including the following:

Older woman eye exam

Age Related Eye Diseases

  • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which progressively eliminates the macula (the part of the eye that provides sharp, central eyesight).
  • Cataract, a clouding of the lens in the eye.
  • Diabetic retinopathy, a complication of diabetic issues that destroys capillary in the retina (the light-sensitive cells at the back of the eye).
  • Glaucoma, a group of conditions that can cause fluid and pressure to build up in the eye and damage the optic nerve.
  • Low vision, a physical disability that cannot be corrected by normal eyeglasses, contact lenses, medication, or surgery that disrupts the capability to perform daily activities.
  • Dry eye, a condition that occurs whenever the eye does not produce tears properly or when tears dissipate too rapidly.

There are many things you can do to decrease your possibility of vision loss from eye disease and make certain your eyes are healthy. Follow these simple steps to continue to see well into the future.

Have A Comprehensive Dilated Eye Exam

You may think your eyesight is okay or that your eyes are healthy, but obtaining a comprehensive dilated eye exam is the only way to really make sure. During this exam, your eye care expert places drops in your eyes to dilate, or expand, the pupil to allow more light to enter the eye the same way an open door lets more light into a darker room. This enables your eye care specialist to get a really good look at the back of your eyes and analyze them for any signs of issue or disease. Your eye care expert can also let you understand if your vision can benefit from glasses or contact lenses.

Older man getting fitted for glasses

Know Your Risk Factors

As you age, you are at higher risk of forming age-related eye diseases and ailments such as AMD, cataract, diabetic eye disease, dry eye, and glaucoma. Having a family history of eye disease also puts you at higher risk. And being heavy or obese increases your risk of forming diabetes and other systemic conditions that can lead to vision loss. If you are having trouble maintaining a healthy weight, talk to your doctor.

Eat Right To Protect Your Sight

You’ve heard carrots benefit your eyes, but eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits– especially dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, or collard greens — is essential for keeping your eyes healthy and balanced, too. Research has also revealed that there are eye health advantages from eating seafood high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut. A healthy diet can also help you preserve a healthy weight, which can help safeguard your vision.Wear Your Sunglasses And A Brimmed Hat

Sunglasses and a brimmed hat are great fashion accessories, but their most important job is to shield your eyes from the sun’s hazardous rays. When buying sunglasses, look for those that shut out 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation. Extended sun exposure is associated with developing cataract and AMD.

Couple having fun cooking

Don’t Smoke

Smoking cigarettes is as bad for your eyes as it is for the rest of your body. Research has connected using cigarettes to an increased danger of forming AMD, cataract, and optic nerve damage, each of which can result in vision loss and blindness.

Use Protective Eyewear

Put on protective eyewear like goggles, safety glasses, face shields, and eye guards when playing sports or doing activities around the home and encourage your family and close friends to do the very same. Most protective eyewear lenses are made of polycarbonate, which is 10 times sturdier than other plastics. Many eye care providers sell protective eyewear, as do some sporting goods stores.

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