August 2022: How to Improve Eyesight and Protect Your Sight as You Age
Our eyes age, just like the rest of our bodies. And although this is a natural part of getting older, there are a number of things we can do to keep our eyes healthy for as long as possible and reduce the risk of conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration (a condition that affects the central part of the retina which is common in older people).
So, if you’re looking for proactive ways to improve your vision, here are our top tips on how to improve eyesight and maintain optimum eye health.
Get Your Eyes Tested Regularly
As eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration often don’t have noticeable symptoms, getting your eyes tested regularly is one of the best things you can do to look after your eye health. As well as checking to see if you need glasses, an optician can also detect eye diseases at an early stage, often before you’ve even noticed anything is wrong. Regular check-ups can also help to adjust your current prescription as your vision changes with time, and check your alignment. Sometimes wearing the wrong prescription or a poor alignment can lead to eye strain which can make your vision worse. And eye exams can highlight underlying health problems that could be causing problems with your sight. Ideally, you should aim to get your eyes tested every two years, or as often as your optician recommends.
Keep as Active As Possible
Keeping active is extremely beneficial for the whole body, including the eyes. Just 20 minutes of exercise a day can make a big difference on your overall level of fitness, mental health, and vision. The reason exercise can improve eyesight is that it promotes blood circulation throughout the body. And this is especially important for the small blood vessels in the eyes as it removes harmful substances that may have built up over the years. The eyes also need a consistent oxygen supply to work properly, and exercise ensures this happens. So, the next time you’re looking for something to do, why not head out for a long brisk walk. Your body will certainly thank you for it!
Best Foods For Eye Health
Now, let’s talk about food. That’s right, you can actually eat your way to better vision! In fact, there are certain foods that can help to lower the risk of eye diseases due to the high level of vitamins and minerals they contain. The best foods for eye health include:
- Strawberries, oranges, and green peppers (high in vitamin C)
- Turkey, oysters, and crab (rich in zinc)
- Oily fish such as salmon and sardines (high in omega-3)
- Carrots, pumpkin and sweet potato (high in vitamin A)
If you struggle to get these foods into your diet, supplements can help you get the necessary vitamins and minerals to keep your eyes healthy. Vitamin A is particularly important for eye health as it helps our eyes produce pigments that allow us to see the full spectrum of light, so ensure you get plenty of it, either from food or supplements.
Wear Quality Sunglasses Year-Round
Protecting your eyes from the sun with a good pair of sunglasses will help prolong your eye health, as high levels of sunlight, particularly UV rays, can increase the risk of cataracts. When choosing sunglasses, make sure they have a UV 400 mark and the CE mark – this shows they meet European standards. UV rays can affect your eyes even on cloudy days, so get into the habit of wearing your sunglasses all year round to maintain optimum eye health.
If You Smoke, Stop
The health risks associated with smoking are widely known, but the impact on our eyes can be particularly prevalent. Smoking can actually increase the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. So, although giving up smoking can be difficult, the benefits are definitely worth the time and energy required to stop. Plus, there are plenty of resources now available to make stopping smoking easier than ever!