Some changes to your vision as you age are unavoidable, but taking good care of your eyes throughout your lifetime will help support the longevity of your eye health. Good eyesight contributes to the quality of life, so it’s worth the effort to safeguard it. Here are a few simple strategies to help you maintain your eye health.
Eat the Right Diet
Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet rich in plant foods and low in saturated fats nourishes your overall health. Some specific foods, however, are nutritional powerhouses for the eyes. Make sure to include these foods in your diet on a regular basis:
- Plant foods that are high in Vitamin C supports healthy eye function. Vitamin C is heat sensitive though, so try a selection of raw bell peppers, bok choy, cauliflower and strawberries.
- Omega-3 fatty acids help lower pressure in the eyes and keep them lubricated. The best source is fatty fish like salmon, tuna and sardines.
- Vitamin E will protect your eyes from free radicals. Many nuts and seeds are high in Vitamin E including almonds and sunflower seeds.
- Vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene supports night vision and visual acuity. You’ll find these in bright orange vegetables and fruits like carrots, sweet potatoes and mangos.
- Dark, leafy greens contain Vitamins A and E and carotenoids. Get some kale, spinach, or other dark leafy greens into your diet daily. Other dark green vegetables with the same benefits include broccoli and brussel sprouts.
To support your healthy diet, consider a quality supplement that maintains your eye health. Seek out a trusted brand that offers eye health supplements containing many of the nutrients that support healthy eyes like Vitamin C, zinc and lutein.
Protect Your Eyes
The surface of the eye is fragile and easily damaged. You should always wear protective eyewear when you are engaging in sports, working with chemicals or doing crafts like woodworking. This one simple strategy can prevent potentially serious injuries.
Sunglasses protect your eyes from the damaging effects of UVA and UVB rays from the sun. Medlineplus.gov recommends lenses that block out at least 99% of these rays. If you wear contacts, you have a wide selection of sunglasses to choose from. If you are a glasses wearer, many frame manufacturers offer magnetic clip-ons custom-designed for your frames, or you can choose from a variety of store-bought manual clip-ons.
Change Your Focus
Eye strain caused by too much time at the computer or reading print can cause blurred vision, double vision and severe headaches. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends using the 20-20-20 rule to reduce strain. For every 20 minutes you spend in activities that require close focus, take a 20-second break and focus on something at least 20 feet away from you.
Maintain Annual Checkups
As with all other aspects of your health, regular checkups are integral to maintaining the health of your eyes. Everyone should have a comprehensive eye exam once a year. Your doctor will determine if your vision requires any correction and diagnose any issues and an appropriate course of treatment to prevent your vision from deteriorating.
Aging brings some changes to everyone’s eyes, but poor vision is not inevitable. Taking care of your eyes should start at an early age and continue throughout your life. Support your eye health and your overall well-being with a healthy diet rich in Vitamins A and E, zinc, carotenoids and omega-3 fatty acids. Consider supporting your diet with quality supplements. Protect your eyes from the sun with good sunglasses, from injury with protective lenses and from strain by taking frequent breaks. Of course, prevention is priceless, so don’t skip your annual eye exams. You can help optimize your vision and maintain healthy eye function with a bit of effort and care.