Similar to other parts of the body, your eyes will gradually become less effective over time. Older adults tend to suffer from vision-related issues at a higher rate than young people. They may have trouble focusing on nearby objects or maintaining proper eyesight under the sun's glare. Others also lose colour and depth perception, making it more challenging to engage in daily activities.
The good news is that you can extend the health of your eyes by preventing multiple risk factors. Frequent eye exams and a healthy diet are a good place to start, along with avoiding sharp light or habits such as smoking. These four useful tips will help you maintain sharp vision well into your advanced age.
1. Avoid glare or bright lights
One of the best ways of keeping your eyes healthy is to avoid long-term damage to eye tissue. Bright lights and glare from the sun can damage your cornea, making it harder to focus on nearby or far-off objects. Physical injuries (such as the eye being pierced by a foreign object) can also accelerate vision loss over the years.
This is why you should always wear UV-protective glasses on hot days. If you spend hours in front of a computer screen, blue-light filtering glasses can help prevent glare from the screen reaching your cornea.
2. Proper diet
Eating healthy can promote stronger eye tissue and the healing of damaged areas. For example, protein-rich foods such as meat, fish and dairy products contribute towards a healthy eye structure while reducing the risk of common vision problems. Combining these meals with vegetables, seafood and fruits will also reduce the development of cataracts or macular degeneration. The end result is healthier eyes for many years after retirement.
3. Don't wait to get corrective lenses
A common mistake most people make is delaying eye treatment when they're young. Young people have resilient tissues that can heal over time. However, complications with the iris, cornea and nearby blood vessels could worsen over time, resulting in long-term complications. Don't procrastinate when it comes to eye care.
If you notice symptoms such as dry eyes, frequent irritation or vision issues, consult your ophthalmologist as soon as possible. They can prescribe corrective lenses (to ensure proper light refraction) or other medications that promote healing within the eye tissue.
4. Avoid risk factor behaviours
Some behavioural issues could also increase your risk of developing vision complications. For example, smoking, sleeping with bright lights on and exposing your eyes to foreign objects are all risk factors that can be avoided while you're still young. These behaviours have been associated with increased risk of eye strain, cataracts and other retinal complications.
Contact an optometrist for more information.