Changes to vision and vision deterioration can occur at any time. Vision problems are not always age-restrictive. Yet, as we age, risks of worsening vision increase. So, it is a good idea to think about what you can do to help keep your eyes strong and as healthy as possible to avoid potential vision loss.
Whether you notice your distance vision is getting a little fuzzy or the words in your favorite book are hard to see, you will want to use one or more of these strategies to strengthen your eyesight.
Tip #1: Brighten things up.
Certain types of vision conditions restrict how far the pupil opens to allow light in. By adding a reading light or extra lighting in a room, it can make it easier to see. Age-related problems where more lighting can help include macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma.
Tip #2: Visit your ophthalmologist frequently.
When we are younger, seeing your ophthalmologist annually is acceptable, depending on whether you wear contacts or glasses. As we get older, more frequent checkups may be required—like every six months—to detect potential vision problems and correct them before they become worse.
Tip #3: Exercise two to three times a week for 30 minutes.
Exercise helps the body burn calories, lose fat, and strengthen muscles, and it boosts the immune system and more. Regular exercise makes us feel better because we are healthier, and that includes our vision and eyesight.
Tip #4: Eat a well-balanced diet.
Make sure that you are getting plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in your daily diet, as well as lean cuts of meat, poultry, and fish. Omega-3s found in fish and flax or chia seeds can help keep the eyes healthy. Some fruits and vegetables you should include as part of your diet are:
- Red Bell Peppers
- Collard Greens
- Brussels Sprouts
- Sweet Potatoes
You don’t have to eat all of these every single day. Make sure to mix it up and include two to three of these in your meals and snacks throughout the day.
Tip #5: Monitor your “bad habits.”
Avoid drinking excessively, as too much alcohol too often is not good for the body or the eyes. The same is true with tobacco and marijuana. Whether you smoke or vape, you want to try to quit or at least cut down to occasional use. Drinking and smoking can increase the risks for certain age-related eye conditions like cataracts and macular degeneration.
Tip #6: Protect your eyes when outdoors.
UV radiation can damage your eyes and vision. Always make sure to put on UV-blocking sunglasses when heading outside. Even on cloudy and overcast days, wear your sunglasses as UV radiation can be just as high as on a bright sunny day.
Tip #7: Limit screen-time on devices.
Excessive time spent on smartphones, tablets, and computers can lead to eye strain, which can weaken the eyes. You should also avoid using devices in a completely dark room, as this also increases eye strain. Give your eyes a break from staring at screens for at least 15 minutes every hour. You can also use the 20-20-20 Rule, which is every 20 minutes stare away from the screen for 20 seconds by looking at something that is at least 20 feet away from you.
Tip #8: Get corrective vision laser surgery.
There have been many advances in laser surgery in recent years, including implantable contact lenses. These lenses can help eliminate the need for contacts or glasses when you still require them. Alternatively, LASIK and other laser surgeries could correct vision problems so you no longer need contacts or glasses.
For more strategies to strengthen your eyesight and to find out what corrective laser surgery options are available to improve your vision, please feel free to contact Dougherty Laser Vision at (805) 987-5300 today!
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