Tips for Caring for Aging Eyes
- Posted on: Sep 15 2020
Every part of the body ages and, although we know this, there are certain aspects of aging the tend to get more attention than others. We are all for aging gracefully in every possible way. As your eye care specialist, Dr. Silverstein is particularly interested in helping you understand and minimize the risks you may face as your eyes age. Just as we engage in healthy habits to support our vitality and our appearance, we should also be practicing specific strategies to promote lifelong eye health. Here, we offer a few tips.
Professional Care is Your Starting Point
Every goal we set out to accomplish has a starting point. For weight loss, that may be meeting with a nutritionist or a personal trainer. For eye health, it involves consulting with an eye doctor. Regardless of how well you adhere to the tips we will offer here, there is no substitute for professional eye care. If you have an eye condition or a high risk for eye disease, your eye doctor may want to see you every year. If you are younger and have good vision and little risk for eye disease, you may be advised to schedule dilated eye exams every couple of years.
A professional eye exam is not a mere vision check. Your ophthalmologist may spend very little time checking your vision the way an optometrist does. The purpose of our eye exams is to evaluate the various structures of the eyes; those that you cannot see just by testing vision. A dilated eye exam allows us to observe the integrity of your retina, optic nerve, macula, and blood vessels in the eyes. These tiny structures are often where eye disease begins, and where it can progress asymptomatically. Therefore, routine evaluation is the best way to detect problems early, when their progress may be slowed.
Tips for Healthy Eyes
- Eat for eye health. If you’re eating for general health and vitality, chances are you are consuming at least some of the foods that feed your eyes. Suggestions include foods rich in antioxidants and beta-carotene, such as carrots, chia seeds, salmon, sweet potatoes, and blueberries.
- Fitness is for the eyes, too. A healthy lifestyle is one that includes regular movement. Exercise isn’t solely for weight management nor is it all about getting toned and tightened. When we exercise, we promote health by reducing the risks of various diseases. Factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol contribute to several age-related eye diseases. Fortunately, regular exercise helps reduce each.
- Don’t smoke. There are many reasons to avoid smoking and tobacco use, including a significantly higher risk for eye diseases including dry eye and age-related macular degeneration.
- Suit up with sunglasses. If you thought that wearing sunglasses was just a fashion statement, you wouldn’t be alone. Many people miss the fact that sunglasses are a vital aspect of protecting the eyes from cumulative damage. The UV rays in sunlight break down all tissue, including that which makes up the internal parts of the eyes. People who do not wear sunglasses are much more likely to develop cataracts than those who do.