Vision changes are a natural part of aging, but that doesn’t mean you have to succumb to age-related eye health and vision changes. It is a good idea to educate yourself about the kinds of vision changes that go along with aging. This can help you to be aware of any problems that may arise. And you’ll know when you need to seek treatment to keep your eyes as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
Here, we discuss the early warning signs for certain eye conditions, such as macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts, and the importance of regular eye exams. It’s so important to take the proper precautions for good eye health. But if you incorporate the right strategies into your daily routine, eating well, exercising your body and eyes, and taking the right vitamin supplements, you can enhance your eye health.
Early Warning Signs
Many age-related eye and vision problems have early warning signs that you need to be aware of. If you begin experiencing signs and/or symptoms, you will know when it’s time to go see an eye care professional.
You should alert your doctor to any changes in your vision immediately. One such example is when straight lines become crooked, which could be a sign of macular degeneration. In this case, you will want to receive treatment as soon as possible to save your eyesight.
If you notice there are floaters in your vision or that you have lost some of your peripheral vision, these are signs of retinal detachment and should be treated urgently. If you do not seek treatment, you could lose your vision completely.
Regular Eye Exams
There are a lot of vision and eye health problems that don’t have early warning signs. They often begin to develop without the person even knowing there is an issue until the problem has already progressed. It is at that progressed state that vision changes begin happening. That’s when you finally realize that there’s a problem.
That’s why ensuring you have regular, yearly eye exams is so important. Your eye doctor can detect and treat problems before any major damage occurs. You’ll be better able to maintain good eye health as you get older if you stick to having the yearly eye exams performed.
There are several age-related eye problems. These include macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and dry eye syndrome. Glaucoma is the one that can go undetected for the longest period of time if regular eye exams are not being sought. This is because glaucoma, known as “the thief in the night,” does not have any symptoms until the disease has progressed into an advanced state and irreversible damage has already been done. Your eye doctor will check for glaucoma regularly, which is why it’s so important to keep up with your regular appointments.
Most everyone will develop some degree of cataracts as they age. People with a family history of age-related eye diseases are at a much higher level of risk of developing those diseases. Cataracts will cause your vision to gradually become blurred, but this condition is reversible and does not pose any risk to permanent vision loss. Although it may be jarring, blurred vision caused by cataracts is not dangerous.
Exposure to the sun may also play a part in the development of cataracts. We do know that sun exposure definitely plays a part in skin cancers of the eyelids. However, wearing sunglasses when you’re outdoors can decrease damage done to the eyes. This can even help protect the skin of the eyelids as well.
There are important precautions you can take to keep your vision healthy. For instance, smoking can increase your risk for developing macular degeneration. So, it’s a good idea to quit smoking as soon as possible to keep your eyes healthy.
The number one thing you can do to maintain healthy eyes and vision is to have regular eye exams. Seniors should have their eyes examined on a yearly basis. If you do this, you can be one step ahead of any eye problems that occur.
Eye Healthy Foods and Vitamins
You can also maintain healthy eyesight by incorporating eye-healthy foods and vitamins into your diet. There are a lot of fruits, vegetables, dairy, meats and poultry that contain properties that are beneficial to your eyes and even the rest of your body.
For instance, leafy green vegetables such as kale and spinach contain antioxidants called lutein and zeaxanthin, which are extremely good for your eyes. Including these types of foods into your diet can decrease your risk of age-related eye diseases. Other examples of leafy green vegetables that you could increase in the diet include romaine lettuce, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, mustard greens, watercress, and cabbage.
Zinc is an excellent nutrient for keeping the retina of your eye healthy and working properly. You can find zinc in foods like oysters, turkey, and crab, to name a few. Omega-3 fatty acids protect your eyes by fighting off inflammation. These are in various meat and fish, particularly salmon, herring, anchovies, sardines, and mackerel.
Vitamin A can help to decrease risk for age-related cataracts. And vitamins A, C, and E can help in the management of age-related macular degeneration.
In addition to eating eye healthy foods, you can take a daily vitamin supplement, like our Ocu-Plus Formula. It contains the necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that promote good eye health. It may be difficult to change your eating habits, certainly to the extent that is required for good eye health. In this case, taking vitamin supplements is another way to go. Obtaining nutrients from the diet is always the best practice. Using a vitamin supplement is a good back-up strategy to ensure you are not missing anything in the diet that could be important to your eye health.
Prevention is always going to be an easier strategy than trying to fix damage that has already been done. Take our above advice to prevent issues with your vision that can arise as you age.