Protecting your eyesight is one of the most vital things you need to do to maintain your quality of life. Some variations of sight-threatening eye problems affect one in six adults who are aged over 45. You should also know that the risk of vision only increases with age. Since the leading causes of low vision and blindness are age-related diseases such as cataract, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma, it’s vital you take steps to protect your eyesight. Below we’ve put together some simple tips to help you out.
Protect your eyes from harmful UV rays
When you are outdoors during the daytime, it’s essential that you always wear sunglasses that protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. This can help reduce your risk of pinguecula, cataracts and other issues with the eyes. In addition to sun-based dangers, you should also wear safety glasses when participating in active sports or working with tools to help prevent eye injuries that could potentially lead to permanent vision loss.
Eat a balanced diet
Various studies have indicated the benefits of a healthy diet in relation to protecting your eyesight. It’s been shown that antioxidants can reduce the risk of cataracts. You can increase your intake of antioxidants by eating a diet filled with fruits and dark green and colourful vegetables.
Studies have also indicated that eating fish which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids could help reduce your risk of developing macular degeneration. It’s also a good idea to supplement your diet with eye vitamins to ensure you are obtaining the correct level of the nutrients your body requires to protect your eyesight.
The various dangers associated with smoking also relate to the health of your eyes. Those who smoke are at a higher risk of developing various age-related eye conditions, such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and uveitis. If you are struggling to quit smoking, then seek advice from your doctor or healthcare team.
Ensure your glasses prescription is up to date
It’s important you receive a comprehensive eye exam at least once every two years. This should be more frequent if you suffer from a condition that puts you at risk of eye complications, such as type 1 or type 2 diabetes. This exam should include dilating your pupils as this can determine your risk for major eye disease. An eye exam will also allow you to make sure that your glasses prescription for contact lenses or eyeglasses is up to date.
Look for warning signs
You can take steps to protect your eyesight by ensuring you monitor for warning signs with your vision. If you begin to notice any changes in your vision, it’s time to see an optician right away. Some trouble signs to look include hazy vision, double vision and trouble seeing in low light conditions. Other symptoms and signs of potentially serious eye conditions could be red eyes, floaters, flashes of light, swelling and eye pain. These warrant immediate attention.
Have regular physical exams
As we age, our risk of various conditions increase. It’s therefore important to check regularly for conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes. If either of these conditions is left untreated, it could cause serious eye problems. Both high blood pressure and diabetes can lead to vision loss, eye strokes and macular degeneration.
If you take these necessary steps to protect your eyesight, then the chances of problems occurring in the future are significantly reduced. Always visit an optician if you are worried or sense something is wrong.