As you age, you may notice changes in your vision, such as trouble reading the menu at a restaurant or adjusting the font to the larger size on your phone. Most people find that even if they didn’t need glasses before, as they get older, having a good pair of reading glasses becomes a must-have. This is because, as we age, the lenses in our eyes naturally lose their flexibility making it more difficult for our eyes to focus and see as clearly as they did when we were younger. This is just one of the many conditions that we may experience, and there are other age-related eye conditions such as cataracts, age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), and glaucoma as well.
Though changes in your eyesight are normal for those aged 40-60, that doesn’t mean that these changes and conditions are inevitable. Protecting your vision is one of the most important things you can do to maintain your quality of life as you age, so we’ve provided you with some tips on how to best protect your vision as you get older.
Stay active and eat a well-balanced diet
Keeping an active lifestyle is beneficial for the entire body, including your eyes. By maintaining daily activity such as a brisk walk and a healthy weight, you can decrease your risk of developing cataracts and glaucoma.
Eating a well-balanced diet full of antioxidants can also help to keep your eyes functioning at their peak as you age. Be sure to eat plenty of fruits and leafy greens as well as fish and legumes that can help to promote eye health.
Avoid UV rays
Always be sure to wear sunglasses when you are going to be outdoors or driving, even if the weather is cloudy. UV rays are ever-present and can damage your eyes, increasing the risk of developing certain conditions. Make sure your glasses protect you from UV rays and wrap around your face as best they can so the rays don’t “leak” through your glasses.
Take a break from the electronics
Practice the 20-20-20 rule when using electronic devices such as your phone, tablet, computer, or TV. Spend 20 seconds looking at something 20 feet away every 20 minutes of screen time to prevent your eyes from tiring or drying out.
Annual comprehensive exams enable your optometrist to catch early signs of eye conditions and allow them to monitor your vision to make sure your eyes are functioning as they should. This helps optometrist determine your risk for major eye diseases and conditions as well as update your prescription as needed to help you see as clearly as possible.
If you start noticing changes to your vision, such as blurred vision, double vision, flashes of light, or swelling, see your doctor immediately.
Though these steps don’t guarantee you’ll have perfect vision throughout your life as you age, by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and doing your best to care for your vision, you can decrease your risk of developing these conditions and vision loss. Our staff is dedicated to helping you protect your eye health and will develop a plan for you to ensure your successful treatment. For more information on how to protect your eyes as you age, contact St. Lucy’s Vision Center today.