A Guide to Protecting Your Eyes as You Age
Imagine what life would be like without being able to see. For some, this is the reality they live. But for others, living life without the ability to see is nothing more than a what if.
If you’re like most, you’d probably like to live as much of your life with perfect vision as you can. That’s why we’ve taken the time to prepare a short guide on 8 easy steps you can take to ensure your eyesight remains crisp and clear.
Protecting Your Eyes in 8 Easy Steps
According to the Canadian National Institute of the Blind (CNIB), 5.5 million Canadians currently live with eye disease that may eventually lead to blindness. These diseases may include, but are not limited to, macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. The CNIB goes on to predict that these instances of disease and vision loss will grow 30% within the next decade.
Protecting your eyesight is essential to living a happy and healthy life. Take your time while reading over the 8 steps below, to make sure to remember them!
Know Your Risk Level for Eye Diseases
Your family history is extremely important when it comes to protecting your eyes. For example, a history of high blood pressure or diabetes in your family automatically increases your risk for sight-threatening eye disease.
Although you cannot change your family history, you can play your part in fighting it. Schedule regular eye exams to ensure that an early diagnosis of any developing eye disease can be made. This will not only allow you to limit the amount of any visual deficits, but also preserve your eye health as a whole.
Schedule Regular Physicals With Your Family Doctor
By scheduling regular physicals with your doctor, you can catch any diabetes or high blood pressure problems that may be arising. Diabetes or high blood pressure that isn’t caught early, or left untreated entirely, can lead to permanent vision loss from diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, or optic nerve strokes.
Monitor Vision Changes
Any sudden changes in your vision should be reported to one of our Optometrists immediately. This may include blurred vision, double vision, hazy vision, spots or specks “floating in front of your eyes”, and/or difficulty seeing in low light.
By reporting any change in vision, you present our Optometrists with the opportunity to make an early diagnosis. As mentioned above, this can help prevent extensive damage to your eyes.
Exercise, Exercise, Exercise
Any exercise, even walking, has been shown to reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration by up to 70% according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
If you approach exercising like it is a chore, you will likely not stick with it for long. Make exercise fun by turning into some sort of game, or doing it with friends/family. Even a short game of basketball on the driveway with the kids helps.
As we are sure you are aware, the sun emits harmful UV rays that can burn our skin if we are exposed for too long or without protection. These same UV rays are capable of damaging our eyes as well. By wearing a pair of sunglasses, you may be able to shield your eyes from up to 100 percent of UV rays, thus reducing your chances of developing cataracts, pinguecula (yellow bump on the eye), or sun burn on the eye.
Schedule Regular Eye Exams
Regardless of whether you have a previous family history of eye disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure, you should still schedule regular eye examinations (every 1-2 years). Early detection and prevention are key to thwarting eye disease before it has its chance to damage your vision.
You’ve gone your whole life hearing about all the dangers of smoking cigarettes, but did you know it can also damage your eyes? People who smoke are at a greater risk for developing macular degeneration, cataracts, uveitis, and many more eye problems.
Hear it From The Pros
The above list is a very brief guide to keeping your eyes healthy as you age. If you’re looking for more information regarding ways to keep your vision clear and your eyes healthy, visit our Optometrists. Through years of education and experience, our Optometrists are well equipped to suit all your needs.