Your vision is an area of great concern as you age. Many people experience vision problems related to aging. Some can be reversed naturally while others require medical intervention in order to restore sharp sight.
Eyesight Issues Related to Age
There are several problems that can occur with your eyesight as you get older. Some of these can affect people at any age, but are more common in older people. Let’s look at the problems and the solutions for the most common eye ailments. Your vision is one of your most important ways of interacting with the world, so it’s important to take care of it.
Presbyopia is the loss of vision for objects up close or very small print. This is often corrected with contact lenses or reading glasses and causes minimal problems. However, good nutrition can often prevent and even reverse this type of vision problem. We’ll talk more about specific nutrition for the eyes at the end of this chapter.
Cataracts are areas of the eye that become cloudy. They cover part of your lens or, in some cases, all of it. The cataract keeps light from being able to enter the eye properly – causing difficulty seeing. Cataracts don’t present with pain or other problems. If they become severe, they need to be removed surgically. This is a fairly common procedure that usually results in much better vision.
Glaucoma is a condition in which the eye has too much pressure inside of it. This is often related to circulatory system problems and inflammatory illnesses. Reversing glaucoma often involves treating the underlying cause of it as well as the use of prescription eye drops, medication, and even surgery in some cases.
One of the best ways to reverse this is to catch it early. When you get your yearly vision screening appointment, you’ll be tested for this. You probably are familiar with the machine that blows a small puff of air in the eye. This is the machine that tests for glaucoma.
The retina is the back of the eye that actually takes in the images you see and sends them to the brain. There are several problems related to the retina becoming detached or degenerating. This is a more serious problem that’s often related to diabetes or aging. There really isn’t a natural way to reverse this problem, but making healthy lifestyle choices can prevent it.
Lifestyle Impacts on Your Vision
There are many lifestyle factors that can lead to problems with vision. Correcting them can often reverse the vision problems you have. And the earlier you adopt a healthy lifestyle, the less likely you are to have age-related vision problems.
One of the most important things you can do to protect your eyesight is to provide your body with good nutrition. Some important nutrients for vision include:
- Dark, leafy greens such as kale and spinach
- Citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruit
- Oily fish including salmon and tuna
- Protein sources such as eggs, beans, and nuts
Good nutrition can also help you to prevent and reverse diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease that can lead to vision problems. It’s also helpful to maintain a healthy weight.
Smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your health overall, including your vision. Smoking increases your risk of developing cataracts and degenerative eye disease. The good news is that when you stop smoking, you begin to reverse that risk. Smoking is one of the most difficult habits to stop, but it is possible to do it with support and assistance if needed.
Protect Your Eyes
Your eyes are vulnerable to the environment. In particular, the rays of the sun can damage your eyes. It’s a good idea to wear sunglasses as long as they’re rated to filter out UVA and UVB rays. You should also make sure that you wear protective eyewear when you’re participating in sports, working with chemicals, or using power tools.
Eyestrain also comes from frequent computer use and as well as from other electronic devices. Make sure to give your eyes a break from screen time. If you need prescription lenses, make sure to use them so that you don’t cause more strain.
It’s also critical that you have regular eye exams. At least once a year you should visit an eye doctor for routine screening. This can help catch and reverse problems in their early stages when it’s easier to do so. Eye exams will also allow you to get the proper prescription lenses if needed for sharp vision. This allows you to have fewer problems with eyestrain and headache. It also allows you to remain independent longer.