Most adults start experience vision problems right around midlife. Beginning in early to mid-40s, many people start noticing they can’t see as clearly as they used to, especially at close distances.
This is actually one of the most common medical problems people between the ages of 40 and 60 encounter. It might start with needing to hold your book or phone screen farther away from your face to see the words clearly. If you already wear prescription glasses, you might find yourself taking off your glasses to look at something up close. Many older adults find they need brighter lights in their work or living spaces to see as well as they used to.
These are all signs of normal age-related changes to the eye’s ability to focus. When you reach middle age, you should see an optometrist at least once every two years to monitor any developing conditions and vision problems.
People with chronic conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure are especially susceptible to eye problems. Many medications for common health problems such as high cholesterol, thyroid issues, and anxiety can also cause vision side effects.
For many seniors, eyesight problems is a serious worry. Nothing stifles independence like not being able to see, especially it your vision deteriorates when you’re already feeling weaker and more vulnerable.
Here are some tips to protect your eyesight at any age:
Go for regular exams
As we mentioned above, you should be seeing an eye doctor at least every two years, from middle age. It’s always easier to treat problems as soon as they crop up, so finding a vision problem in its earliest stages is so important.
When you get your eyesight checked regularly, your doctor can also monitor and increase your prescription as necessary.
You should also go for regular health screenings. Untreated diabetes or high blood pressure can cause severe vision problems and loss, so it’s important to keep your health in the best shape possible.
Wear sunglasses outdoors
Yes, even in the winter, and even when it’s not so sunny out. Harmful UV rays can still affect your retinas even on blustery days, and our eyes become more susceptible to them with age.
Make sure your sunglasses have 100 percent UV protection, and wear them whenever you’re outside during the day.
Pay attention to your diet
Colorful fruits and dark green vegetables are rich in antioxidants that can preserve your eye health. Some studies have shown antioxidants play a role in reducing your risk of cataracts.
Eating fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, can also help reduce your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (the leading cause of blindness in seniors).
We already know how important exercise is for our general health, but did you know it’s also great for your eyes? Regular exercise can reduce your risk of age-related macular degeneration by up to 70 percent!
If you need another reason to quit smoking, studies show that people who smoke are at much greater risk of vision problems.
Family history also has a big affect on your eyesight, and some doctors say it’s the single biggest indicator of your own eye health. However, following these tips to improve your eye health certainly won’t hurt, and it will help your overall health too!