March is National “Save Your Vision” month, so now is the perfect time to review the many ways in which you can maximize your eye health. While this particular piece is aimed at those in senior living communities, the advice should definitely be heeded by readers of all ages.
The key to protecting your eyes and preserving your vision should start at a young age. More than likely, if you’ve reached an advanced age and didn’t take precautions over the years, damage has already been done.
However, while reversing existing damage is probably unrealistic, preventing problems from getting worse is definitely possible. Besides, it’s never too late to get smart about your health…including your eyes.
Here are three simple steps you can take to protect your eyesight, regardless of age:
This one seems pretty obvious – and easy – right? But not everybody does it.
Get in the habit of wearing sunglasses any time you’re planning to be out in the sun. Whether you’re planning on being active – golfing, swimming, cycling, walking, etc. – or merely taking a trip to the grocery store or pharmacy, wear your glasses. It’s no mystery that the sun damages the skin, but it also takes a toll on your eyes.
And, hey, if you’re in Palm Beach, you know the importance of style – Sunglasses can look pretty cool- and there’s no age limit on that!
Prescription sunglasses are also available, and can be adjusted to meet any vision needs – so there are no excuses not to wear shades when you’re outdoors. Also, be sure to get sunglasses that offer 100 percent UV protection, blocking both UV-A and UV-B rays.
This may come as a surprise, but the foods you eat actually do have an effect on your eye sight. As if there weren’t already a limitless number of reasons to eat right, here’s another one.
We’ve all heard that eating carrots is great for your eyes, and that’s true. However, all foods that are high in vitamins C and E are beneficial in this area. Many vegetables, not just carrots, offer high levels of these vitamins, including leafy greens. Maintaining a diet that is rich in these foods can have a tremendous positive impact on your vision and overall eye health.
Smoking also has an adverse effect on eye sight. Not only are smokers at higher risk of developing cataracts, they are also more prone to developing age-related macular degeneration that non-smokers.
Perhaps you feel that eye exams are unnecessary. In your mind, as long as you can see, why bother, right?
The truth is, most people do not have perfect vision. So, for starters, there’s almost always an ability to improve your sight.
More importantly, however, is avoiding potential problems down the road. You may not have – or notice – any warning signs of issues such as age-related macular degeneration or glaucoma, but identifying these conditions early can help prevent vision loss and even total blindness in the future.
Without a regular schedule of routing eye exams, diagnosing these problems is impossible. And, again, start this routine as early in life as possible. However, if you’re a senior or already having eye trouble and getting a late start, remember the old saying: “It’s better late than never.”
These are all fairly simple things you can do to care for your eyes. Unfortunately, many men and women take their eyes for granted. Don’t be one of those people.
© Lourdes-Noreen McKeen | 315 South Flagler Drive, West Palm Beach, FL33401 | 561.655.8544