If you’re over 50, you’ve likely noticed changes in your vision from just 5 or 10 years ago. Aging eyes come with a host of problems for most of us. Some can be prevented and, for those that can’t, there are things you can do to minimize the effects.
Dr. Sarah Brewer explains how. She’s a Cambridge-trained hospital doctor, general practitioner, and proponent of using diet and lifestyle to improve your overall health. She recently spoke with Margaret Manning about 4 of the most common age-related eye conditions that many, if not most of us, will experience as we age.
You can find a wealth of information and advice on her website and in the 66 books she’s authored, including her latest, Eat Well, Look Great.
Of course, nothing in this interview should be considered medical advice. But, we hope that it gives you plenty to discuss with your doctor!
As we age, the quantity of tears we’re able to produce goes down drastically. The resulting dryness of the eyes can be irritating and uncomfortable.
To counter that, you can try using sea buckthorn oil. Not only can it relieve dry eyes, but, it’s helpful for anywhere on the body where secretions are drying up. Even blinking more often can add much needed moisture to your eyes.
Another simple solution is to drink more water! Hydration is so important not only for the eyes, but for your health in general. So, keep water at your desk, at your bedside, wherever you spend time, and don’t forget to drink!
Few eye conditions instill as much fear as macular degeneration. The macula at the back of the eye enables you to do things like read and recognize faces. It frequently breaks down in older adults, resulting in central vision that deteriorates significantly or is completely eliminated.
There are some very simple things you can do to prevent it, however. Don’t smoke. Get enough exercise, which increases blood flow to the back of the eye. Make sure you get your eyes checked annually.
Don’t forget to eat plenty of yellow, green, and orange fruits and vegetables. They contain carotenoids, which can stave off age-related macular degeneration, and your body doesn’t make them on its own. You can only get them from food.
Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy and is a result of aging. So if the sun is shining but it seems as if you’re looking through a haze, it’s time to get checked.
While surgery can often correct it, a diet rich in antioxidants can help prevent cataracts from forming in the first place. It’s another reason to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables!
There is also some evidence that taking vitamin C supplements can help stop the progression of cataracts.
Glaucoma is an insidious condition than can have a disastrous effect on your vision. It’s caused by the blockage of the drainage channels or a build up of pressure in the eyes due to the overproduction of fluid. There is a genetic component, as well.
If you don’t get checked annually, you many not know you have it, and by then the disease may not be reversible. It’s imperative to have a yearly glaucoma test, especially if it runs in your family. The test is easy… and it may just save your vision.
Besides the 4 conditions discussed here, there is a host of other problems that may affect your vision after age 50. The loss of elasticity of the lens can lead to presbyopia, usually starting around age 45, necessitating the use of reading glasses.
You may require bifocals. If you’ve been wearing contact lenses for decades, you may suddenly not be able to tolerate them. Alternatively, you may need to switch to a type that’s designed specifically for dry eyes.
However, with the right changes to your diet and yearly check ups at your optometrist, many of these conditions can be minimized or prevented, enabling you to see clearly into the future!
Have you noticed changes in your vision? Will you try sea buckthorn oil? When was the last time you went to the optometrist? Let’s have a chat!
Tags Healthy Aging