Vision problems are quite common particularly among older adults. Eye muscles become weak with age or eye lenses may harden (Presbyopia) making it difficult to see close objects or fine prints. Persistent dry eyes, inflammation or eye infection can also have adverse effects on vision if left untreated. Even extensive exposure to the glare from computers and smartphones can take a toll on eyesight.
Common Eyesight Problems
• Blurry vision
• Double vision
• Nearsightedness (myopia)
• Farsightedness (hyperopia)
• Distortion or blind spots
• Color blindness (unable to distinguish colors)
• Needing more light to see (e.g., when reading food labels)
6 Ways to Maintain Good Eyesight
You depend on your eyes to do almost everything. You shouldn’t wait until you start having vision problems before taking stock of eye health. Implementing these 6 tips can help keep your eyes healthy and reduce the need for eyeglasses, contact lenses or eye surgery:
1. Protect Your Eyes from Sunlight
Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun are known to damage eye cells and weaken eye muscles. This increases the risk of cataract or corneal diseases. Wearing sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection or sun brim hats can help reduce the damaging effects of sunlight on the eyes.
2. Choose Foods that Promote Eye Health
Fruits and vegetables such as orange, grapefruit, carrot, and sweet potato have nutrients that nourish the eyes. Orange-colored foods contain a type of vitamin A known as beta-carotene that keeps the retina functioning well. Kale, collards, spinach, tuna, and salmon also contain vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A and E, lutein, and DHA to keep eyes healthy.
3. Prevent Eye Diseases and Conditions
Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a common cause of reduced vision. It is the leading cause of irreversible vision loss in adults over 60. Older adults are at a greater risk of developing eye diseases or conditions related to vision loss. They include glaucoma, temporal ateritis, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy due to diabetes. Eating healthy and wearing protective eyewear may help prevent these diseases and conditions.
4. Quit Smoking
The risk of damage to the optic nerve, macular degeneration, and cataract increases with smoking. Studies show that smoking causes macular degeneration by interfering with blood flow to the retina. The sooner you quit, the better your chance of maintaining good eyesight.
5. Use Anti-Glare Screens
People spend hours looking at the screens of electronic devices such as their computer, smartphone, tablet, or gaming system. The glare produced on the screens can cause eye strain, blurry vision, squinting, or dry eyes. Prescription reading glasses, anti-glare eyewear, or anti-glare screens can protect your eye muscles from deteriorating. Additionally, reduce the screen light and practice looking away from the screen every 20 minutes for about 20 seconds.
6. Get Regular Eye Exams
Having an eye and vision exam at least once a year can go a long way in keeping your eyes healthy. Eye tests can identify farsightedness, nearsightedness, and age-related changes to your eyes. Your optometrist or ophthalmologist can check for signs of eye diseases, like glaucoma, and treat them before they rob you of good eyesight.