6 Tips To Keep Good Vision As You Age
Posted: 7/8/2022 4:12 PM by
Just because your eyes feel healthy, you might assume that they are healthy. Unfortunately, most eye diseases don’t have warning signs… which means you could have an eye problem and never know it. The good news is that there are many things you can do to take care of your eye health, even as you age.
Even if you’ve had perfect 20/20 vision your whole life, it’s important you have an established relationship with an ophthalmologist or optometrist. Scheduling an annual visit with your eye doctor and following these 6 tips will help ensure you’re on your way to top-notch eye health and vision.
Tip 1: Protect Your Vision
Whether you are 25 or 85, the same rules apply to protecting your vision. No matter your age, protect your vision at all costs! A few easy ways you can protect your eyes and vision include:
- Wearing sunglasses - Even on cloudy days! The easiest way to protect your eyes is by shielding them from the sun. Be sure to pick sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB radiation. You could also wear a wide-brim hat to not only protect your eyes but the skin on your face from the sun’s harmful rays, as well.
- Wearing protective eyewear - This should be a no-brainer, but don’t take a chance when you are doing things like home projects, construction work, or playing sports. There are plenty of safety goggles and glasses to choose from!
- Give your eyes a rest - Have you ever scrolled through your phone or computer for what seems like five minutes, but you look up and suddenly an hour has passed by? Rest your eyes by taking a break every 20 minutes to look at something else around 20 feet away for about 20 seconds.
- If you wear contacts, take steps to prevent eye infections - Be sure to wash your hands before you put your contact lenses in or take them out–every time! You also should disinfect your contact lenses and replace them regularly.
Tip 2: Know Your Risks For Eye Disease
The following factors can put you at risk for developing eye disease. Know your risk and work with your ophthalmologist or optometrist to help stay on top of screenings you may need if any of the following apply to you:
- You are overweight or obese
- You have a family history of eye disease
- You are African American, Hispanic, or Native American
- You have diabetes or high blood pressure
Common eye diseases include Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), Diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, glaucoma, and dry eye. Work closely with your eye care professional to diagnose and treat these issues.
Tip 3: Take Care Of Your Overall Health
We may sound like a broken record, but following these tips will benefit your eye health long-term and can improve many other aspects of your health, as well.
- First and foremost, stop smoking if you currently smoke.
- Make smart food choices.
- Make sure you are physically active and maintain a healthy weight.
- Keep an eye on your blood pressure and manage diabetes if you have it.
Tip 4: Learn How To Identify Low Vision
One of the most common problems as we age is experiencing low vision, even if you don’t have an eye disease. According to the National Institute on Aging, low vision means you cannot fix your eyesight with glasses, contact lenses, medication, or surgery. Low vision affects some people as they age. You may have low vision if you:
- Can’t see well enough to do everyday tasks like reading or cooking
- Have difficulty recognizing the faces of your friends or family
- Have trouble reading street signs
- Find that lights don’t seem as bright
If you have any of these problems, ask your eye care professional to test you for low vision.
Tip 5: Know When You’re Having An Eye Emergency
It’s highly recommended that you know how to identify a potential eye emergency. See an eye care professional right away if you:
- Suddenly cannot see or everything looks blurry
- See new floaters (tiny specks or “cobwebs” that seem to float across your vision) and/or flashes of light
- Have eye pain
- Experience double vision
- Have redness or swelling of your eye or eyelid
Tip 6: Get Annual Dilated Comprehensive Eye Exams
Think of your eye doctor as the primary care physician dedicated just to your eyes. Just like you should see your primary physician each year, you should have annual dilated comprehensive eye exams. This will allow your ophthalmologist or optometrist to check in on any issues you may be having, as well as keep track of trends in your eye health so they can diagnose any eye diseases early on.
Start Taking Care of Your Eye Health Today
Your eyesight is precious, and it’s never too late to start taking care of your vision. Following even a few of these steps can make a big difference in preserving your eye health, no matter how old you are!