September is Healthy Aging Month, and in the spirit of helping you maintain optimal eye health as you progress through life, we at Piedmont Eye Center would like to take some time to give you tips on how to make sure your eyes age well.
Keep the Rest of Your Body Healthy
The way you treat your body today will affect your eye health tomorrow. Studies show that eating right, maintaining a normal blood pressure and even getting decent sleep can help keep your eyes from developing certain eye conditions early on. Exercising, staying fit and taking vitamins and dietary supplements can also prevent or delay the onset of common hereditary diseases. Such diseases include macular degeneration and glaucoma, which can be affected by obesity, smoking and excess exposure to UV light. Cataracts also tend to develop with age, but similar measures can be taken to prevent or reduce risk, along with keeping your eyeglass prescription up to date.
Risky and unhealthy lifestyle choices, including tobacco use, can harm your eyesight as you age. The strain of these lifestyle choices on your blood vessels and heart can affect how your body reacts to your eyes’ needs and health. Improper care of long-term diseases such as Type 2 diabetes can cause additional diseases like diabetic retinopathy, a damaged blood vessel condition which can cause blurry or distorted vision and even blindness. Obesity is also a contributing factor to many eye diseases.
Take care of your body first, and you will find that long-term eye health will follow.
Use Proper Eye Protection When Necessary
The eye is a delicate organ. It already has so many defenses in place, such as eyelashes and tear ducts, yet it can still be damaged without proper precautions. For instance, prolonged exposure to the sun and its harmful rays can hurt your eyes and cause them to age more quickly than the rest of your body. So, it’s important to find a good pair of polarized sunglasses, especially the wraparound kind, to protect your eyes from the sun.
However, sun damage isn’t the only risk you can prevent with proper precautions. If you’re doing house work outside, it can be easy to get tiny bits of wood and metal in your eyes, or splash chemicals from household products. So, be sure to put on a good pair of safety goggles if you’re being active outdoors. This goes for people with glasses, too. As most individuals with glasses can attest, normal prescription lenses don’t always protect your eyes from debris. Fortunately, options exist to get goggles to put over or attach to your glasses.
Furthermore, while technology is now essential to daily life, it can also harm your eyes. Blue light from modern electronic devices can cause excess stimulation and tiredness in your eyes. It can also lead to eye strain, mental exhaustion, headaches and upper body pain. So if you’re in front of a computer all day or just staring at your phone a lot, you may want to consider investing in a pair of computer glasses, or asking your local optician to include blue-light blocking to your current glasses prescription. This will help protect your eyes from getting overstimulated or tired. Also, it is recommended to take precautions like breaks from the excess stimulation.
Schedule an Eye Exam
Many people think that if their eyes feel and act fine, they don’t need an eye exam. But eye exams are extremely valuable as a preventative measure. They can detect the onset of eye disease, especially as you advance in age, and can teach you how to care for your eyes as time goes on.
Schedule an appointment with Piedmont Eye Center today!