Protecting your eyesight is one of the most important things you can do to help maintain your quality of life. Some type of sight-threatening eye problem affects one in six adults age 45 and older. And the risk for vision loss only increases with age.
Tips for Protecting Your Eyes
To protect your eyesight and keep your eyes healthy as you age, consider these simple guidelines:
1.Look for warning signs of changes in your vision
If you start noticing changes in your vision, see an eye doctor immediately. Some trouble signs to look for are double vision, hazy vision and difficulty seeing in low light conditions. Other signs and symptoms of potentially serious eye problems that warrant immediate attention include red eyes, frequent flashes of light, floaters, and eye pain and swelling.
2.Protect your eyes from harmful UV light
When outdoors during daytime, always wear sunglasses that shield your eyes from 100 percent of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. This may help reduce your risk of cataracts, pinguecula and other eye problems.
3.Find out if you are at higher risk for eye diseases
Be aware of your family’s health history. Do you or any of your family suffer from diabetes or have a history of high blood pressure? Regular eye exams are particularly important, because an early diagnosis can limit any vision loss and help preserve your eyesight.
4.Have regular physical exams to check for diabetes and high blood pressure
If left untreated, these diseases can cause eye problems. In particular, diabetes and high blood pressure can lead to vision loss from diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration and eye strokes.
5.Eat a healthy and balanced diet
Numerous studies have shown that antioxidants can possibly reduce the risk of cataracts. These antioxidants are obtained from eating a diet containing plentiful amounts of fruits and colorful or dark green vegetables.
6.Exercise more frequently
some studies suggest that regular exercise — such as walking — can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration by up to 70 percent.
7.Get your eyes checked at least every two years
A comprehensive eye exam, including dilating your pupils, can determine your risk for major eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, which has no early warning signs or symptoms. An eye exam also can ensure that your prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses is up to date.
In addition to following these guidelines, be sure to wear safety glasses when working with tools or participating in active sports to help prevent eye injuries that potentially could cause permanent vision loss.