5 Tips to Avoid Vision Problems As You Age

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As you age, vision problems can increase, sight become foggy and you're more susceptible to a host of diseases that can permanently damage your eyesight. Close up vision can blur, eyes can become dry, and cataracts, macular degeneration, and glaucoma can set in.

Age related vision problems start to occur more commonly after age 40. The risk of cataracts, or clouding of the lens may start. Macular degeneration, when the macula, the part of the eye that allows you to see fine detail becomes damaged, is another age-related eye disease. As is glaucoma, when pressure is put on the optic nerve of the eye eventually damages vision.

5 Tips to Avoid Vision Problems As You Age

1. Get an Eye Exam

There are 41 million cases of blindness, low vision, or age-related eye disease in those over age 40. Lower your risk of diseases like glaucoma and macular degeneration progressing to blindness by catching them early. If you have risk factors for glaucoma like smoking, diabetes, and a family history you should have a baseline eye exam. If caught early, eye drops can prevent the progression of macular degeneration as well.

2. Eat For Good Vision

Eat for good vision. Make sure you’re getting enough omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Eat plenty of leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, and collard greens. Enjoy oily fish like salmon, herring, and anchovies as well as oysters, wheat germ, tofu, and nuts.

3. Quit Smoking

Smoking is a risk factor for eye diseases like glaucoma (along with more chronic illnesses than I don't have the space to list). Don’t smoke. Enough said.

4. Look Away From Your Computer Screen

In all, 70 percent of adults report digital eye strain, a set of symptoms that can cause dry eyes, vision problems, and fatigue. Try and blink every 10 seconds.

“We don’t blink as much when using screens,” said Dr. Joshua L. Dunaief, associate professor of ophthalmology at the University of Pennsylvania’s Scheie Eye Institute, reported on NBC News, “because the blink response is suppressed. So we don’t spread tears across our eyes and they wind up drying out.”

5. Wear Sunglasses

Sunglasses protect your eyes from the sun if they block 99 to 100 percent of UV radiation. Wear sunglasses big enough to cover the whole eye.

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Image: Katie Brady

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