Let’s face it: most people don’t spend a lot of time thinking about when they will die. Most of us also have the goal of living as long as possible. When we’re young and healthy, we tend not to worry too much about our health in old age. More accurately, we don’t want to think about how our lifestyle decisions now will affect our future bodies. In reality, forgetting about our health shortens our lifespans. And, that goes for eye health, too.
Having healthy eyes and being able to see well are important for maintaining an independent lifestyle. When an older person’s vision begins to decline, it may become more difficult for them to be independent. Perhaps surprisingly, this can have an impact on a person’s longevity as well.
Vision Loss and Mortality
Plenty of people lose their vision and still live to an old age, right? You may have had a grandparent that lived well into his or her nineties and was practically blind. However, surely you noticed that their quality of life decreased significantly in correspondence with their decreased ability to see. And beyond that anecdotal evidence, the University of California-Berkeley’s wellness center actually links vision loss to reduced life expectancy.
The logical reasoning behind this is that losing your vision makes everyday tasks more dangerous. Driving while vision impaired is never a good idea. It’s also much easier to experience a life-threatening fall in old age if you can’t see well.
While these more tangible reasons do affect the life expectancy of the visually impaired, there are intangible reasons for reduced longevity as well. Berkeley’s wellness center claims that the loss of functional independence that comes with vision loss – such as losing the ability to shop for and prepare meals, make phone calls, and visit family easily – also affects a person’s length of life. Doing what you can to preserve your vision now will help you live longer later.
Reducing the Risk
Of course, if vision loss leads to a loss of independence, doing everything you can to help your aging relatives see can help increase their life expectancy. If you notice a change in a loved one’s vision, set up an eye exam for them. Once the damage is already done, getting corrective lenses may be the only thing you can do to help them. However, it’s well worth it if it will keep them safer and happier.
If your loved one has a vision problem that cannot be corrected, it’s important to ensure they have help performing daily activities. Additionally, you should encourage them to remain as active as possible. This will help them to live life as much as they can and delay their declines.
Another study performed at the Center for Vision Research at the University of Sydney showed that the risk of death over a 15 year period was 40 percent lower in people who had cataract surgery to improve their vision problems than it was in people who didn’t have cataract surgery. The reason for this was because the emotional and physical health of the people improved after the surgery. Quality of life was reinstated for those who had the cataract surgery because they could see well again.
Taking Care of Your Eyes
These studies go to show that making sure you get regular eye exams can be the first step in living a long life. Catching issues as early as possible is essential if you want to cure the issue or prevent it from worsening. Plus, if you do everything you can to preserve your vision now, you likely won’t need surgery or corrective lenses in the future.
Taking care of the rest of your health can have an impact on the health of your eyes as well. Having heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and many other health issues can all affect your vision, so it’s also important to be seen regularly by a physician as well so that any health issues that arise can be dealt with properly. Exercising regularly can help reduce your risk of developing these conditions, which can also help preserve your vision.
You can also perform specific exercises to strengthen your eye muscles. This will also lead to better vision in old age and a longer life. If you work on your computer for long hours a day, set a timer to make sure you look away from your screen for at least 10 seconds every 20 minutes. This will allow your eyes to refocus, which can do wonders in preserving your vision.
You can also try exercises like Round the Clock (moving your eyes in a circular motion) or the 3 Cup Exercise. Adding activities like this to your work out regimen can strengthen the muscles surrounding and in your eye. This will help preserve your vision.
Eating well can also improve your vision and decrease your risk of developing various eye diseases and vision problems. It can also help control health issues like diabetes and heart disease. Many people don’t think about the connection that exists between health issues and vision problems. However, eating well is essential to having good vision.
The first step to eating well is to eat a range of colorful fruits and vegetables that are packed with the antioxidants and nutrients your eyes need.
You can also keep your eyes strong and improve your vision by taking eye-healthy vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, like the ones found in our Ocu-Plus Formula. There have been many people who have improved their vision this way. Taking eye vitamins takes just a second every day, so there’s no excuse for why you shouldn’t take the time to make your eyes stronger and healthier.