10 Ways to Preserve Your Vision At Any Age

Reviewed by: Selene A. Burke, OD

Vision Tips & Prevention Vision Tips & Prevention

There are many rewards that come with age, but getting older can sometimes take a toll on vision. Have you noticed that your eyes get tired more easily? Do you find yourself adjusting fonts or turning up lights to see better? You can’t turn back time, but you can take steps to preserve your eye health at any age.

Good health habits can benefit your whole body – heart, mind, skin, muscles – and yes, even your eyes. Here are 10 eye-opening tips on how to help prevent vision loss and keep your eyes as healthy as possible.

1. Eat well.

Bugs Bunny introduced the idea that eating carrots helps your eyes, but did you ever notice that Popeye was always stronger than Bugs? What’s really good for your vision is eating a variety of vegetables, especially leafy greens like spinach and kale. Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Top 10 Tips to Save Your Vison & Keep Your Eyes Healthy American Academy of Ophthalmology & National Eye Institute Go to Source 1,2 Fish that’s high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and tuna, supports eye health too. Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Keep Your Eyes Healthy National Eye Institute Go to Source 2

2. Stay active.

Regular physical activity can lower your risk of diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure – conditions that can affect the health of your eyes. Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Keep Your Eyes Healthy National Eye Institute Go to Source 2 A study of more than 15,000 people found that those who were physically active (and who drank alcohol only occasionally) experienced less vision loss over 20 years than those who didn’t exercise. Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Best Way to Age-Proof Your Vision John Hopkins Medicine Go to Source 3

3. Wear sunglasses.

Sunglasses not only can help you look cool, they also can help prevent damage to the retina and lens of your eye. Sun exposure is linked to developing cataracts as well as a condition called age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is the leading cause of blindness in the U.S. Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Top 10 Tips to Save Your Vision & Best Way to Age-Proof Your Vision American Academy of Ophthalmology & John Hopkins Medicine Go to Source 1,3 Choose sunglasses that block 100 percent of both UVA and UVB radiation, and wear them even on cloudy days.

4. If you smoke, stop.

Quitting smoking is important to your health in many ways, including your eye health. Studies show that current or former smokers have a higher risk of developing cataracts and AMD, Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Top 10 Tips to Save Your Vision & Best Way to Age-Proof Your Vision American Academy of Ophthalmology & John Hopkins Medicine Go to Source 1,3 and smoking can also harm your optic nerve. Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Keep Your Eyes Healthy National Eye Institute Go to Source 2 So take advantage of smoking cessation programs that are widely available and leave tobacco behind you.

5. Take breaks from computer screens.

Looking at a computer for a long time can strain and tire out your eyes. Rest your eyes with the 20-20-20 rule – take a break every 20 minutes to look at something about 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Top 10 Tips to Save Your Vison & Keep Your Eyes Healthy American Academy of Ophthalmology & National Eye Institute Go to Source 1,2

6. Use safety eyewear.

Safety glasses are not just for construction workers. Wear eye protection when you’re playing sports such as hockey or baseball, or when you’re working at home on repair projects and gardening. Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Top 10 Tips to Save Your Vison & Keep Your Eyes Healthy American Academy of Ophthalmology & National Eye Institute Go to Source 1,2 Millions of eye injuries happen each year in the U.S. Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Top 10 Tips to Save Your Vision American Academy of Ophthalmology Go to Source 1

7. Know your family history.

You may have inherited your mother’s nose or your father’s mouth – or your grandmother’s eye disease. Because many eye conditions can be inherited Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Top 10 Tips to Save Your Vision American Academy of Ophthalmology Go to Source 1 , knowing your family history can help you be on the lookout for early symptoms. Inform your eye doctor of any eye disease in your family history.

8. Get regular eye screenings.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that most adults get a baseline screening for eye diseases at age 40, which is when early signs of problems may start. Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Eye Exam and Vision Testing Basics American Academy of Ophthalmology Go to Source 4 If you have conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure, or a family history of eye disease, you may need to be screened earlier. Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Eye Exam and Vision Testing Basics American Academy of Ophthalmology Go to Source 4 If you are 65 or older, you should have an eye screening every one to two years. Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Eye Exam and Vision Testing Basics American Academy of Ophthalmology Go to Source 4

9. Don’t delay if you experience eye symptoms.

See an eye doctor without delay if you experience cloudy vision, flashes of light, double vision, dark spots in your field of vision, or other eye symptoms. Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Warning signs of a serious eye problem Harvard Medical School Go to Source 5 Most serious eye conditions, such as glaucoma and AMD, can be more easily and successfully treated if they are diagnosed early – but untreated eye disease can cause vision loss and even blindness. Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Warning signs of a serious eye problem Harvard Medical School Go to Source 5

10. Practice good contact lens care.

Using contact lenses can become so routine that it’s easy to get a bit lax. But avoid behaviors such as sleeping in your contacts (unless they are approved for overnight wear), using saliva or water to clean them, using expired cleaning solutions, or using disposable lenses for longer than recommended.1 Poor contact lens practices can cause damage to your cornea and even vision loss. Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Top 10 Tips to Save Your Vision American Academy of Ophthalmology Go to Source 1

Trusetd Source Checkbox  Sources


1 American Academy of Ophthalmology. Top 10 Tops to Save Your Vision. Available at: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/top-10-tips-to-save-your-vision-2. Accessed September 19, 2019.
2 National Eye Institute. Keep Your Eyes Healthy. Available at: https://nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/healthy-vision/keep-your-eyes-healthy. Accessed September 19, 2019.
3 John Hopkins Medicine. Best Way to Age-Proof Your Vision. Available at: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/best-way-to-age-proof-your-vision. Accessed September 19, 2019.
4 American Academy of Ophthalmology. Eye Exam and Vision Testing Basics. Available at: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/eye-exams-101. Accessed September 19, 2019.
5 Harvard Medical School. Warning signs of a serious eye problem. Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/warning-signs-of-a-serious-eye-problem. Accessed September 19, 2019.

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