Aging Issues
How To Protect Your Eyes As You Age
Dec 11, 2013 - 10:18:29 AM

( - As most people age, their vision starts to weaken. This is nothing to worry about - in fact, it is a normal part of the aging process. It may be inconvenient to have to put on reading glasses, but it's not a life-threatening condition. However, age can also bring more serious eye problems, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts. These are definitely not normal, but the good news is that you can do things as you age to reduce your chances of developing these.

One of the most important ways to protect your eyes as you age is to get checked regularly. This is simple and painless, and if you go somewhere such as Dayton Ohio's Stanton Optical, it is also completely free. Many eye conditions are treatable if they are caught early - and even if they're not, there are things that can be done to slow their progress. For example, macular degeneration - which is when the retina at the back of your eye deteriorates - can be slowed using laser therapy and drugs. Similarly, early treatment of glaucoma can prevent blindness.

One of the best things you can do to keep your eyes healthy is to avoid bright sunlight. Ultraviolet light can damage the lenses in your eyes, which can lead to cataracts. Bright sunshine also contains a lot of blue light, which can cause macular degeneration over time. Whenever it is sunny, put on a wide-brimmed hat to shade your eyes, and wear sunglasses that screen out UVA/UVB light - and if you choose yellow or amber lenses, this will also protect you from blue light.

As we get older, we all struggle with our weight - but you really need to make an effort to keep it under control. If your weight is too high, you can suffer from high blood sugar and even full-blown diabetes. People who develop diabetes later in life are much more likely to get cataracts, and have twice the risk of developing glaucoma.

In fact, you need to do more than just keep your weight under control - you also need to eat foods that protect your eyes. For example, carotenoids - found in vegetables such as kale and spinach - help to protect your retinas. Eating these dark, leafy vegetables lowers your risk of getting certain types of macular degeneration by up to 50%, and there is strong evidence that this also prevents cataracts. Foods that contain lots of vitamin C - such as orange juice, broccoli, strawberries and cauliflower - are also good for your eyes since they prevent cataracts. You should also avoid any fast foods containing trans-fatty acids - these unhealthy fats increase your chances of experiencing severe macular degeneration.

Finally, try to get as much vigorous aerobic exercise as possible. Studies have shown that this can reduce the risk of developing cataracts by more than a third, and cut the risk of macular degeneration by over half. Not only that, vigorous exercise lowers the pressure in your eyes - and high pressure is one of the main causes of glaucoma.


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