September is healthy aging month. Here are some tips to maintain healthy vision.
Get your eyes checked regularly. Many causes of vision loss can be prevented with early detection. During a comprehensive eye exam, your doctor will check for many eye conditions such as age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, dry eye syndrome and much more. Because the risk of eye disease increases as we age, it is important to be examined at least once a year. At The Eye Center we offer our patients the ability to take an even deeper look at the back of the eye by performing the Optomap and iWellness exams. The Optomap is an ultra-widefield high-resolution device that images up to 200 degrees of the retina. Along with the Optomap, an iWellness scan is performed to help identify the retinal layers and rule out many eye diseases such as macular degeneration, optic neuropathy, and swelling of the central vision. It is important to remember that early diagnosis and treatment is the best way to prevent vision loss.
Live a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy and exercising regularly. Maintaining a healthy diet, rich in proteins and vegetables, will ensure optimal ocular health. Leafy greens, salmon, and foods rich in antioxidants can protect the eyes from developing age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and dry eye to just name a few. If our diets are lacking the proper nutrients needed, there are nutraceuticals (or eye vitamins) that can be recommended by your doctor to ensure proper eye health. The Eye Center recommends EyePromise Restore vitamins that are designed to increase macular pigment optical density and protect the retinal photoreceptors from development or progression of macular degeneration. EyePromise EZ Tears is another daily nutraceutical used to help patients with dry eye syndrome produce natural tears to increase the level of surface lubrication. Along with eating correctly, exercising is of equal importance. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity once weekly combined with strength training at least two times weekly. These lifestyle modifications, along with quitting smoking, can help with promoting eye health.
Protect your eyes from the sun. Although sunglasses are considered a frequent fashion accessory, it is important to remember that their main job is to protect us from harmful UV radiation. Some of the sun’s effects on the eyes include cataracts, macular degeneration and pterygiums or pingueculas. A pinguecula is a benign growth over the white part of the eye that can alter it’s curvature, causing astigmatism or prescription changes. When the growth lies over the cornea it is termed a pterygium. The irregular grows can cause irritation, inflammation and dryness over the ocular surface. Not all sunglasses are created equal. When purchasing sunglasses the most important factor should be its ability to block out 99-100% of UVA and UVB radiation. Polarized lenses offer 100% protection from UV rays and are indicated especially in people who are often outdoors—fishing, boating or snowboarding.
Vision loss does not have to be a normal part of aging. If we follow these simple guidelines we can ensure happy, healthy eyes!