Our eyes show us the beauty of nature, our children growing, and our loved ones smiling. Yet, as we age, our eyesight progressively gets worse. The sun, being stuck in front of a computer all day, and certain medical conditions can contribute to degenerating eyesight. Many adults begin to notice vision problems in their 40’s and 50’s. While some vision changes are a normal part of aging, there are several things you can do to protect and improve your eyesight.
1. Don’t Skip Your Eye Exam
First and foremost, get yearly eye exams. Even if you don’t wear contacts or glasses, an eye exam with dilation is sometimes the only way to identify eye disease in its early stages. And, if you do develop a need for corrective lenses as you age, it’s better to find out sooner rather than later. If you need glasses but aren’t wearing them, you’ll strain your eyes trying to read or drive.
2. Take Breaks from Screens
Have you heard of the 20-20-20 rule? If your work requires long periods in front of a screen, your eyes can easily become strained. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes you’re looking at a screen, look at something about 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This allows your eyes to relax and focus on something besides the screen. This rule applies to cell phones, too.
3. Don’t Smoke
Smoking increases your chances of developing certain eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration. Smokers also often experience dry eyes. When your eyes aren’t properly lubricated, they’re more easily irritated and more susceptible to injury. So, if you smoke, consider quitting.
4. Wear Protective Sunglasses
UV rays damage our eyes. Excessive sun exposure increases your chances of developing cataracts and eye cancer. So, wear sunglasses year-round. Many people only wear sunglasses when it’s sunny out, but UV rays shine through clouds on overcast days, too. Choose sunglasses with adequate UV protection. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, a wide-brimmed hat will also help shield you from the sun. And, if you do any type of work that could injure your eyes, always wear the appropriate protective eyewear.
5. Stay Well Hydrated
When we don’t drink enough water, our eyes get dry and scratchy. Most of us already deal with some dry eye from our amount of screen use. Chronic dry eye increases the risk of cornea injury.
6. Get Adequate Sleep
Tired eyes have trouble focusing. When we’re short on sleep, our eyes aren’t functioning at their best. Our eyes use sleep to recuperate from the day. Our eyes have to focus all day long. It’s only when we’re sleeping that they get a chance to rest and rehydrate. If you’re between 18 and 60, get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. If you’re older, you may need even more sleep each night.
7. Stick to Your Exercise Routine
Many conditions such as diabetes are tied to vision problems. To reduce your chances of developing diabetes, eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise. Getting enough exercise can also help ward off cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration. Plus, exercise is good for all the other parts of our body, too. If any particular eye diseases run in your family, exercise is even more important for your eye health.
8. Eat A Eye-Healthy Diet
A diet rich in vitamins A, C, and E is a great way to protect your vision. You’ve probably heard that carrots are good for your eyes. That’s because carrots are packed with Vitamin A. They help fight inflammation which is the root cause of many eye diseases. Vitamin E is found in some whole-grain cereals, spinach, almonds, and hazelnuts. Eating citrus fruits is a good way to get plenty of vitamin C.
Omega-3 fatty acids can also help preserve your eyesight and help prevent dry eyes. Fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and herring are good sources of fatty acids. If you don’t like fish, an omega-3 supplement is easy to add to your routine.
It can be hard to always eat a balanced diet. If you struggle to fit all your fruits and veggies in, HealthImpaq's Clarity Clear Vision Formula has all the eye-healthy vitamins and antioxidants you need to safeguard your eyes. It’s an easy way to be sure you’re doing all you can to protect your eyesight.