While there will always be tall tales and unreliable “miracle cures” that promise to turn back the hands of time, the healthiest way to age is to take preventive measures that reduce your risk for developing critical conditions.
Vision is one of the most prominent faculties that change as we get older. Although some age-related changes are normal, many older adults are at risk of developing serious eye conditions, including age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, vitreous detachment, and retinal detachment, that can potentially impact their quality of life.
Luckily, there are a number of things you can do to preserve your vision as you get older. As part of September’s Healthy Aging Month initiative, check out these tips for preserving your vision and start a new regimen today.
Eat a Healthy Diet There are several foods that have been shown to help people maintain good vision. Foods such as spinach, kale, carrots, strawberries, and cantaloupe provide your eyes with vitamin C, which is not only an antioxidant that protects your eyes from free radical damage but it also helps form collagen. Collagen is an essential protein that creates structure in the body, including the eyes.
You also want to eat foods that are rich in vitamin E, which is another powerful antioxidant that protects the eyes from free radicals. Some examples include avocados, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and whole-grain foods (brown rice, oatmeal, etc.). Additionally, incorporating foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, and other oily fishes, have been shown to reduce the risk of macular degeneration.
Develop or Maintain Good Lifestyle Habits Some lifestyle choices are known to have a significantly negative impact on our overall health as we age, including our vision. It’s no secret that three of the worst habits include smoking, leading a sedentary life, and unprotected exposure to the sun.
Smoking dramatically increases the risk for serious eye and retina conditions, including macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. And while it may seem like exercise wouldn’t necessarily impact vision, studies show that being active can help reduce pressure in the eyes and increase blood flow to the optic nerve and retina. Finally, the sun can damage your eyes just as it damages your skin. As such, it’s important to always wear protective eyewear when outside during the day, even when it is cloudy or overcast.
Learn More Although there’s no “fountain of youth” that will magically reverse the changes your vision goes through as you get older; you can still preserve your sight by being proactive about your health. To learn more about age-related retina and eye health, contact Dr. Priyank Garg today.