How to Better Care for Your Eyes as You Age

As you get older, it's crucial to be extra diligent in caring for your eyes. This is because your risk of eye illnesses increases with age. You could get diabetic retinopathy, which causes blurry or fluctuating vision, or glaucoma, which can damage your optic nerve.

Fortunately, these conditions aren't inevitable. By taking a few precautions, you can sustain the resilience and health of your eyes over time. Here are five tips on how you can do just that.

Wear sunglasses

UV radiation may have been easy to ignore when you were younger. Aside from minor bouts of eyestrain or the rare instance of photokeratitis, you likely won't notice the sun's effects on your eyes. It's only when you age that you might experience the cumulative, eye-deteriorating effects of UV exposure. To prevent further damage, wear a pair of sunglasses with UV400 protection—which can specifically provide complete protection from UV rays. For the best effect, you can get a pair with polarized lenses to cut out the sun's glare while you're driving or enjoying water activities like boating or fishing. With the right pair of sunglasses, you can defend your eyes from exacerbated harm and continue to safeguard them as you get older.

Get your eyes checked regularly

The progression of eye illnesses isn't unavoidable, even if you're an older adult. Your optometrist can identify your age-related eye conditions and recommend how to slow or halt their development. However, for this to be possible, you'll need to have regular eye exams. After all, most eye diseases don't cause symptoms early on and can only be spotted with an optometrist's expertise. Schedule an exam at least once every two years to catch eye conditions early and treat them as soon as possible.

Set screen time limits for yourself

Healthy digital boundaries aren't just for younger generations. Setting up screen time limits for yourself as an older adult can be the key to preventing adverse effects on your eyes. It can be tempting to spend hours on end with a phone or laptop—you can now do so much without moving unduly. However, this can lead to eye strain. Additionally, continual exposure to blue light can interrupt your sleep, which in turn can cause issues like dry, spasming eyes. Try using a screen time app to cap your digital periods and take 10-minute breaks between every hour of screen usage.

Eat for your eyes

To keep your eyes strong as you age, give them the nutrients they need. Consume foods like liver and egg yolks rich in Vitamin A that can prevent vision loss. You can also turn to walnuts and salmon for their omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower blood pressure in the eyes, and fruits and vegetables to get more Vitamin C, which reduces your risk of developing cataracts. Finally, consider taking supplements to support your consumption of these nutrients if you can't get foods that contain them regularly. With proper nourishment, you can keep your eyes in better health for longer.

Consider eye surgery

Even if your eyesight has worsened over the years, there are still treatments that can reverse the harm. Let's say you're nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism. All these conditions are related to you having misshaped corneas. To fix this, you can try LASIK—a type of refractive eye surgery that involves an eye surgeon using lasers to reshape your corneas. This aims to increase your visual acuity. On the other hand, if you feel like you're always looking through a foggy or dusty car windshield, you might have cataracts and may benefit from cataract surgery. During this procedure, your doctor will remove your cloudy natural lens and replace it with a clear artificial one. You'll then be able to see the world more clearly. It's worth noting that these operations and others like them can often be covered by insurance. Choosing to do them can help you revitalize your eyesight and help you preserve it for longer.

As an older adult, it's vital to take extra care of your eyes. Follow these five tips to ensure vision health as you get older.

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About Lauren

Lauren is the Content & Community Manager for Wellness Force Media. According to Lauren, wellness is about finding gratitude and joy in doing any type of physical or self-care activity that we love. Wellness means providing ourselves with self-love, good nutrition, and the inner peace that our individual minds and bodies need.

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