As you age, one of the most proactive things you can do for your health is to be aware of your changing needs year after year.
One common change that occurs with age is worsening vision, which usually starts to decline slowly at age 40. However, that doesn’t mean everyone will lose vision clarity. There are many actions you can take daily to keep your eyes healthy for years to come.
Visit your eye doctor
Many people think that if their vision doesn’t change, they don’t need to see the eye doctor. This is a myth. You should see your eye doctor every year. An eye doctor can see parts of your eye that you can’t see and catch potential problems before they become a real issue. An eye doctor can also recommend supplements, ensure you are using the right prescription for eyeglasses and contacts, and prescribe medications for your eyes if necessary. Visiting the eye doctor is an essential part of preventative medicine.
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Practice eye safety and prevent eye injuries
Did you know that home improvement projects are one of the biggest culprits of eye problems? These issues can easily be prevented by wearing protective eyewear when completing projects, such as safety goggles. Other safety tips for protecting your eyes include:
As we age, changes in vision and balance increase our risk of falling at home. Here are tips to prevent fall injuries to your body and eyes:
- Ensure all areas of your home have adequate lighting
- Keep floors clear of clutter and remove small rugs that are a tripping hazard
- Use slip-proof rugs and bath mats
- Cushion sharp corners on counters
- Keep eyeglasses where you can reach them
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Protect your eyes from the sun
Although your body needs some sun exposure to create Vitamin D, direct sunlight can damage your eyes. Wear sunglasses or a wide-brimmed hat when spending time in the sun. If you wear prescription glasses, consider getting a pair of prescription sunglasses too.
Wear your prescription eyewear
Don’t skip wearing your prescription glasses or contact lenses! They are prescribed to you for a reason and help you see better, which keeps you safe. Plus, when you wear your prescription, you reduce eye strain and don’t have to work as hard to focus on what you’re looking at. Furthermore, eye strain can lead to other eye problems.
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Exercise for your eyes
Did you know that exercise helps your eyes? Your eyes rely on blood circulation and oxygen to thrive. Increasing evidence shows that aerobic exercise can increase the oxygen supply to the optic nerve. Exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous to be effective either.
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Sleep for your eyes
Your body works hard when it sleeps, including your eyes. When you’re sleeping, your eyes replenish natural tears, get much-needed rest to reduce fatigue, and get lubricated again.
Give your eyes breaks
If you spend a lot of time looking at a screen, whether it is a TV or a computer, it is essential to take breaks. It is generally recommended to take a break for at least one minute every 20 minutes.
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Eat eye-healthy foods
You’ve probably heard “eat your carrots” because they’re good for your eyes. Well, there’s actually some truth to this old saying! Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants like Vitamin C, and nutrients that support eye health, such as beta carotene, lutein, and more.**
Speak with your doctor about eye health supplements
If you want to support eye health beyond your diet and exercise, consider supplements. Speak with your doctor to find the right fit based on your history.
Specific nutrients that support eye health include:
- Lutein 20 mg with Zeaxanthin helps with contrast sensitivity, one of the key factors that contribute to night vision**
- Astaxanthin 10 mg is an antioxidant that supports eye health**
- Bilberry Extract 60 mg contains more than 15 different naturally occurring anthocyanidins, which are beneficial antioxidant pigments**
- Beta-Carotene 25,000 IU is converted into Vitamin A and supports the integrity of the eye by helping form a barrier against foreign substances.**
There are also several multivitamins designed to support eye health with a combination of nutrients:
Caring for your eyes should not be an afterthought. Clear vision gives you freedom and allows you to continue enjoying the activities that you love. So if you haven’t already, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor so you can check in on your eye health.