Your eyesight is crucial to your old age. Having a bad vision means that you are more susceptible to accidents. At the same time, it causes difficulties in doing the things that you usually do.
Taking care of your eyes is as important as taking care of your overall health. Seniors have to be responsible for what they do and eat to ensure that they can keep things crystal clear, even at their advanced age.
There are more than three million Americans who suffer from age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), a condition that damages the center of the retina. If not treated, the disease can cause severe vision loss. The disease is most common in those who are older than 60, but it can occur as early as age 40 and as late as age 70. The geographic distribution of this condition is uneven, and it is more common in elders of African descent than elders from other ethnic groups, according to the National Eye Institute. Also, women tend to develop the condition more often than men.
Here are some of the things that you can do to protect your eyesight as you age.
Smoking can make you lose your eyesight. This is not a myth. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking can cause age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the United States. It is a disease that affects more than 3 million Americans and is the leading cause of vision loss in the U.S. and Canada. Smoking is associated with a number of health problems, including heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which can also lead to vision loss.
Regulate Your Weight
Obesity is the largest preventable health problem in America. The complications associated with obesity are numerous and can cause significant issues such as sleep apnea, arthritis, heart disease, arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, liver problems, constipation, cancer, and much more.
Furthermore, it has been associated with a condition known as metabolic syndrome, which is linked with the early onset of blindness and other eye diseases such as glaucoma. The accumulation of fluid in the eyes and the effects of diabetes, insulin resistance, diabetes, and high blood pressure can also trigger glaucoma to happen. And all these things can exist if you weigh heavier than you should be.
The risk of developing ARMD is higher if you are obese. The heavier you are, the more inflammation and oxidative strain take place in your eyes.
Avoid Too Much Sunlight Exposure
The dangers of UV light are well known. Long-term outdoor exposure has recently emerged as a risk factor for cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. It has also been shown to damage the lens and retina in the eye. In some cases, UV exposure can cause cataracts in as little as a few hours. According to research conducted by Johns Hopkins, the heightened exposure to UV light has negative effects on the metabolism of cells in the lens and retina.
Hence, if you go outside on a sunny day, you have to make sure that you are wearing protective glasses. Your sunglasses should have ample defense against UV-A and UV-B wavelengths. Moreover, they should be big enough to cover your eyes and the surrounding areas.
Stop Being Idle
In a new study, researchers at the University of Geneva found that lack of physical activity is linked to an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. People who were inactive for ten years or more were twice as likely to develop the eye condition as those who maintained a regular exercise routine.
Physical activities, such as exercise, have long-term positive effects. Keep in mind that even without the thought of your eyesight, exercise is still a must. It helps you maintain a healthy weight, which is essential for your general health. You can talk to your doctor regarding the ideal set of activities that you can do. There’s no need for you to engage in rigorous routines. Even simple jogging or walking can prevent you from being sedentary.
Annual Eye Examination
Many people delay taking care of their eyes because they don’t want to deal with the hassle of driving to the eye doctor. Don’t delay. This matter is grave and often becomes more problematic over time. The sooner eye problems are taken care of, the easier it will be to treat them.
Having an annual eye exam is essential for those who are at risk of developing eyesight conditions. But at the same time, it is also crucial for those who simply want to avert eye-related problems.