Do you currently have good eye health and want to keep it that way? Maybe you’ve already experienced a decline in your eyesight and would like to slow the aging process?
The fact is that most people over age 40 experience what is known as “old eyes” because lenses lose flexibility with age. As a result, many people require reading glasses by age 50. While this may be an inevitable result of aging, other eye problems don’t have to be.
Thankfully, good eye health in general is something over which we have a certain amount of control.
Basic Eye Care Tips
Below are some basic eye care tips that can play a major role in maintaining healthy eyes for a lifetime.
- Avoid staying outdoors under direct sunlight for very long without protective eyewear since sun exposure increases risk for cataracts and melanoma.
- When choosing sunglasses, pick ones with black-gray or green-gray lenses and 100% UVA and UVB protection. Also, consider a wrap design if you spend a lot of time outside.
- Avoid regular eye fatigue by making sure to always have proper lighting when reading and by eliminating glare as much as possible.
- Visit the eye doctor regularly so serious medical conditions are identified early and to learn how to keep eyes in optimal health. Patients with glasses or contacts, children and seniors should get annual checkups; everyone else should visit every two years.
- Maintain good posture when working, reading and writing and avoid reclining when reading and even watching television. Poor posture and indirect viewing channels fatigue eyes much more quickly than when practicing proper ergonomics.
- Get involved in outdoor activities requiring use of distance vision. Remember that all of the muscles in your body need stretching, including eye muscles.
- Exercise at least three times a week since doing so lowers the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of severe vision loss in people over 60, by up to 70%. Physical activity improves blood circulation, which boosts oxygen to the eyes, reduces inflammation and aids in the removal of toxins.
- Stop smoking. Smoking increases the odds of getting age-related macular degeneration.
In addition to incorporating the above lifestyle changes, healthy eyes also need consistently protected from digital damage due to Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).
Eye Health and Computer Use
CVS affects more than 70% of the 143 million Americans who work on computers daily. Evidence shows that CVS can cause AMD and that younger and younger eyes are now being impacted due to our digital society.
Take the following steps to protect eyes from CVS.
- Take short pauses when working on a computer. Lack of proper relaxation leads to worsening eyesight. Apply the 20/20/20 rule: rest every 20 minutes by staring at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
- Decrease screen glare to help reduce eye strain. Do this by controlling the light source or the surface reflecting the light, or by filtering light before it reaches eyes.
- Consider wearing computer safety glasses with anti-reflection lens coating while working at the computer as well as while driving. Doing so can reduce the halo effect that strains eyes.
Most people do not have to simply live with deteriorating eyesight, especially when eye strain and fatigue are the main cause.
“The ways in which people strain to see are infinite, and the methods used to relieve the strain must be almost equally varied. Whatever the method that brings most relief, however, the end is always the same, namely relaxation.” (William H. Bates, MD)
Protect one of your most valuable senses, your eyesight, by employing the above suggestions that allow your eyes to relax and recover from the strain put upon them daily. Add basic eye care tips in with approaches to relieve CVS, and you’ll soon see the benefits of relatively healthy eyes even with increasing calendar age.