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Tips for Strong Eye Health
It’s common to begin experiencing decreased vision as we age. Cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and Dry Eye Syndrome are among the problems we face as we age. Here are a few tips to help ensure your eyes stay strong as you age.

1) Stay away from smoking cigarettes: According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, smoking increases risk of several damaging problems including cloudy vision from cataracts, vision loss from macular degeneration, and damage to the optic nerve. Tobacco smoke, including second hand smoke, is an irritant and can worsen the symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome as well.

2) Get Regular Sleep: While we sleep our eyes clear out dust, allergens and smoke that may have accumulated during the day. Sleep is our body’s natural way of restoring our eyes. More sleep also means more lubrication for our eyes.

3) Look away from your screen more: Looking at a computer or phone screen can cause blurry vision, headaches, and other issues. If you’re using a desktop computer, move the screen so your eyes are level with the top of the monitor. You should also keep your eyes moist by blinking regularly and applying eye drops as necessary.

4) Proper nutrition: Leafy vegetables, foods high in Omega 3 fatty acids (like fish) and drinking plenty of water will help safeguard your eyes.  Ask your doctor if they recommend vitamin supplements to boost eye health; specifically, Vitamins A, C and E.

5) Visit your eye doctor regularly: After age 65 it’s important to see your ophthalmologist once a year to check on your eye health.  Ophthalmologists can detect early signs of eye problems like glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, and other common issues. Vision screenings can also diagnose concerns with eyesight, which is especially important to ensure safe driving.

6) Regular exercise: Eyes need good oxygen intake and blood circulation to function properly, both can be regulated with exercise.  A morning walk, yoga, or chair aerobics are all great ways to fit exercise into your daily routine.

7) Watch out for the sun! The sun may be a welcome sight after cool temperatures or lots of rain, but it can also cause a lot of damage to your eyes. Be sure to wear sunglasses that protect you from UV radiation.

8) Pay attention to your symptoms: For dry eyes, over the counter artificial tears may help for a mild case. If your dry eyes are more severe, you may require prescription eye drops – check with your doctor to see what is best for you. If you are noticing changes in your eye health, be sure to see your doctor right away.

9) Make sure your glasses are up to date. It’s no use having eyeglasses if they are not the proper prescription. Look for durable glasses that have an anti-reflective coating and are scratch resistant.

10) Better to be safe than sorry: A fall or cut could result in serious eye problems. If you have fallen and are experiencing obvious pain or vision problems, or if your eyes don’t seem ‘quite right’ after an incident, be sure to get them checked out right away.

Taking proper care of your eyes is important to leading a healthy life. Be sure to follow these tips to keep your eyesight sharp.
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