A sure sign you’re getting older is when more and more things start to go wrong with your body. Your hair begins to go grey or fall out, your joints hurt more frequently, and your hearing starts to go. But one of the most significant and problematic effects of aging is the loss of vision.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects one in every three American adults over the age of 60. This can cause problems in your daily life if untreated and restrict your ability to drive, read, watch television, and interact with loved ones. If you are approaching later life and concerned about protecting your eyesight, you don’t need to worry. There are several ways you can act now to protect your vision before it gets worse.
5 Ways To Protect Your Eyesight After 50
1. Limit screen time
Phones are one of the worst things for our eyes in this day and age. Staring at a screen all day can have a disastrous effect on your vision, and this includes smartphones, televisions, tablets, and computers. Prolonged exposure to screens can lead to dry, irritated eyes and eventually cause vision to deteriorate. Although this technology is essential for most of us to work, entertain ourselves, and communicate with friends and family, there are ways to reduce our reliance. Try to prioritize calling distant loved ones, rather than texting, and reduce the amount of time you spend on unnecessary digital activities such as social media and watching TV.
2. Stop smoking
People who smoke are up to four times more likely to develop age-related vision loss than non-smokers. Even if you only indulge occasionally, you would be wise to give up now before your eyesight starts to bear the brunt of your bad habit. Try to cut down a little at a time, and use less unhealthy alternatives such as nicotine patches or chewing gum to help you through the withdrawal. Quitting now will benefit your overall health in so many ways.
3. Maintain a healthy diet
Being overweight can have a negative impact on your whole body, and the eyes in particular. People over the average weight are much more likely to develop eye conditions such as cataracts or glaucoma. Reduce your risk by taking steps to improve your diet. Cut down on unhealthy, fatty foods and sweet treats and replace them with an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables. Foods high in omega-3, such as fish, seeds, and walnuts, are proven to be hugely beneficial for your eyesight.
4. Exercise regularly
Being physically active also improves your chances of maintaining your eye health into old age. If you don’t regularly participate in exercise, now is the time to start. Just thirty minutes of moderate-intensity activity each day can make a huge difference, so strap on your trainers and get outside for a walk or bike ride.
5. Avoid direct sunlight
If you live in a sunny area, your eyes are at even higher risk. Although warm weather is delightful, over-exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation can increase your chances of developing eye problems. Always wear eye protection such as polarising sunglasses when going out in bright sun.
If you notice your eyesight has worsened, there’s no need to worry. Contact an optometrist to schedule a test, and they will check your vision for you. You can order reading glasses or buy contacts online quickly and affordably.