Eyes are often considered a human feature that doesn’t age – features that will appear the same on both young and old. Although this may seem true, eyes age just like any other organ and require regular care to maintain optimal health.
September is considered Healthy Aging Month, which is designed to focus national attention on the healthy choices we can make as we grow older. While there are many ways to influence healthy aging, all of which can be practiced at any age, today we will offer suggestions on how to take care of your eyes as they mature.
Smoking can quadruple the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), the leading cause of blindness in the U.S., compared to that of a non-smoker. Smoking tobacco and vaporizers can cause issues like cellular changes, oxidative stress, and vascular constriction, all of which are risk factors for ARMD.
By wearing shades when you’re outside, you create a new first line of defense for your eyes. The UV light produced by the sun can cause changes in the metabolic structure of the retina and lens, which increases the risk of ARMD and cataracts. Sunglasses that can block 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB radiation are recommended.
Maintain a healthy weight and diet
Eating right and staying active are healthy choices for just about every aspect of life, and your eyes aren’t excluded. Studies show that people who are overweight are more likely to develop cataracts than those of a healthy weight. Similarly, high blood pressure and diabetes can cause a build-up of fluid inside the eye which likely increases the risk of Glaucoma.
Dr. David Ellenberg, a retinol specialist at OSM, recommends a diet of fish and greens to slow down eye disease.
Schedule regular eye appointments
A great way to avoid any problems that could come from your aging eyes is to keep in touch with the experts. Annual eye exams with an ophthalmologist or optometrist may help you catch any eye complications and get necessary treatment before they lead to any issues and to prevent vision loss.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding eye health or the changes in your eyes as they age, please contact your ophthalmologist today. The dedicated team at OSM is happy to provide information and resources for anyone who is interested.