As we get older, a lot of things begin to happen. The number of obligations we have goes up, our metabolism rate goes down, and very often, our health worsens. That manifests itself differently in different people. Some people suffer from hair loss, others start to see their memory worsen, and many people see other problems like incontinence or worse, heart problems or diabetes. Yes, unfortunately there are many maladies out there that we are increasingly susceptible to as we get older. But luckily, many of these problems are preventable. Simple lifestyle and diet changes can ward off old age better than surgery or other high price procedures.
Maintaining good eye health is surprisingly easy and can keep your eyes and vision safe from deterioration as you get older. With more than eight million Americans suffer from age-related macular degeneration, protecting your eyes from this condition – the number one cause of blindness in people over 60 – is in your best interest. Below are some lifestyle and diet tips to help you improve and protect your eye health. Start implementing them today!
Consume More Antioxidants
AMD has been found to be more prevalent among those with low levels of antioxidants. So increase your antioxidant intake by changing your diet to include more vitamin C (found in broccoli, oranges, and kiwi), vitamin E (in nuts, avocados and veggie oils), and zeaxanthin and lutein (both found in dark leafy greens like kale and spinach).
Yup, smoking is bad for your vision too. So if your lungs, your family’s health, and your skin weren’t worth protecting, hopefully your vision is. Smoking has been connected to increased risk of AMD, optic nerve damage, and cataracts. Already tried quitting but couldn’t do it? Try again. Studies show the more you try, the higher your chance of success.
Use Protective Eyewear
In addition to wearing UV protected sunglasses when you are outside, you should also wear glasses or protective goggles when engaging in other risky behavior like playing racquetball or sawing some wood to make a birdhouse. Think of them like helmets for your eyes!
Eat More Whole Grains
There are a lot of reasons to switch your highly processed white grains for less processed whole wheat brown grains, and your eyes are just one of them. Sugars and refined white flours have been linked to an increase in age-related eye conditions. At least half of your daily grains should be 100% whole grains.
Drink More Water
Drinking a lot of water is good for you for a number of reasons, including keeping your eyes healthy. Fruit juices, teas, and other non-caffeinated beverages are also full of water and good to drink. Staying properly hydrated will reduce irritation caused by dry eyes.
Spend Less Time At the Computer
Staring at a computer screen all day hurts your eyes and strains your eyesight. Computer vision syndrome, aka CVS, may affect as many as 90% of people who use a computer for three or more hours a day. It can cause dry eyes, difficulty focusing, and blurry vision. It may also cramp up your neck, back and shoulders. So cut your computer time. Read a book instead of an iPad!
Eat The Whole Egg
A lot of people avoid egg yokes thinking they are unhealthy, but as long as you aren’t eating more than two a day, they are perfectly healthy. They are also rich in zeaxanthin and lutein, important nutrients for your eye health.