Visiting Angels, Barrington Blog

Five Healthy Habits for Aging Eyes

The eyes invite a host of wonders; it’s ponderous to consider the faces, landscapes, words, artwork, sunsets and cityscapes that your eyes have absorbed over the course of your lifetime. Your eyes are your treasures to protect and enjoy. 

It’s important to be diligent about your eye health, especially after age 60. Some common eye issues can manifest with age such as retinal detachment, cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and muscular degeneration. The Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF), for example, points out: “You are six times more likely to get glaucoma if you are over 60 years old.”

Being proactive about eye health can help with early detection and treatment of issues, which can enable seniors to reduce discomfort and retain functionality. Here’s what you need to know.

senior at eye examKnow your history

Know your eye health history. Many eye diseases are hereditary; for example, GRF explains: “The most common type of glaucoma, primary open-angle glaucoma, is hereditary. If members of your immediate family have glaucoma, you are at a much higher risk than the rest of the population.”

The Mayo clinic points out that family history is also a factor when it comes to retinal detachment.

Know your family history of eye disease. This means any blood relative who experienced eye disease or vision loss.

See your eye doctor regularly

Make it your routine to have an eye examine, with pupil dilation every 1-2 years. If you’ve worn glasses for many years, you know that eye sight changes. It’s amazing how much it can change in even a year. Some of these changes are easily corrected with a new lens prescription, others are indicative of more significant issues.

For this reason, it is important to see your eye doctor each year - especially if you have a family history of eye disease.

If you notice any unusual changes in your eyesight or you feel discomfort or concerning symptoms, call your eye doctor right away.

Practice good health habits

The same things that keep the body healthy are good for the eyes: exercise regularly, refrain from smoking and protect your eyes from direct sunlight. Your body is an organic machine, and your good habits make all its systems function optimally.

You are what you eat

The foods you eat can have a concrete effect on eye health. In fact, in an article for Medical News Today, dietician Natalie Olsen reports: “certain nutrients — zinc, copper, vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta carotene — may reduce the risk of age-related decline in eye health by 25 percent.”

Leafy greens, fish, nuts, beef, citrus fruits and eggs are some foods that are eye healthy. Olsen also recommends staying hydrated to ensure that your eyes stay healthy.

Create an eye-healthy environment

Make sure your home has good lighting, where you can easily see without straining or squinting. Also, make sure the environment in your home isn’t too dry. Get a humidifier and house plants which can make the atmosphere in your home feel healthy and hydrated.

If you find that your eyes are frequently feeling dry, burning or itching this isn’t uncommon. Dry eyes are a common problem for aging eyes. Ask your eye doctor for recommendations-drops may prove helpful.

Remember

Your eyes are vital to your health and happiness. They requires their own special care. Pay attention to them and treat them like the treasures they are.

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