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How To Maintain Lifelong Vision Health

During the course of our lifetime, our eyes witness countless breathtaking moments. Whether we're surrounded by a beautiful landscape or simply seeing the joy in a loved one's face, we want to see these moments as clearly as possible—no matter what stage of life we're in.

Vision Changes Are Normal As We Age

Just like other parts of our bodies, our eyes function differently later in life than they do when we're young. While certain changes are typical with age, others are not. For example, presbyopia—the fuzzy, farsighted vision that requires reading glasses—as well as cataracts are completely normal conditions for aging eyes. Glaucoma and macular degeneration (two of the leading causes of blindness) on the other hand are conditions whose progression can be slowed by good habits and awareness. Preventive eye care is your first line of defense in maintaining clear, healthy vision.

Protect Your Eyes

Make it a habit to wear protective eyewear when playing sports or working with power tools, machinery or chemicals. You can protect your eyes from most injuries with simple safety glasses.

If you enjoy spending time outdoors, be sure to wear sunglasses and avoid prolonged sun exposure! Excessive exposure to UV rays can result in photokeratitis and can even increase your risk of cataracts.

Know Your Family’s History

Learn about eye conditions that run in your family. If your family has a history of eye disease, let your optometrist know during your next appointment so they can be on the lookout for early signs and symptoms.

Get Regular Eye Exams

Early detection of vision problems offers more effective treatment options as well as a higher chance of preventing permanent vision damage. Get regular eye exams and call your eye doctor immediately if there are any changes in your vision.

Reduce Eyestrain

  • Look Away. When using a computer or doing other visually straining activities such as sewing or reading, take a break every hour and focus on something much farther away than the activity at hand.
  • Blink. Blinking refreshes and protects your eyes and keeps them moist.
  • Change Your Focus. Changing your focus periodically, as in the computer example above or while driving for a long stretch, relaxes the eye muscles and helps prevent eyestrain.

Maintain A Healthy Diet And Lifestyle

Obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol are associated with a higher risk of macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. Keep your diet rich in leafy greens and omega-3 fatty acids (i.e. salmon, flaxseed, walnuts), as well as vitamins C, A and E to help maintain clear, healthy vision.

Or add some of these foods to your diet:

If you smoke, make a plan now to kick the habit. Tobacco use has been proven to greatly increase risk of many serious eye conditions. If you don’t smoke, try to avoid secondhand cigarette smoke, exhaust fumes, or any other kind of polluted air.

We Love Your Eyes As Much As You Do

Aging inevitably brings a lot of changes, but remember that what you do today can protect your vision tomorrow. We’re with you every step of the way, from preventive care to treatment!

Thank you for being our valued patient and friend!

Find a Vision Source® practice near you using our search tool.

Top image by Flickr user Chandler Abraham used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Author Vision Source — Published January 6, 2016

Posted In Eye Health Awareness