Healthy eyes and good vision can keep older people independent and comfortable in active retirement communities longer. Because May is the National Eye Institute’s Healthy Vision Month, the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging have tips on how to keep your eyes healthy. Below are a few tips on senior eye health, including:
- Take notice of symptoms related to failing eye sight, such as squinting, bumping into furniture, stepping with hesitation and knocking things over.
- Have regular eye exams. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends seeing an eye doctor every one to two years so any developing problems can be caught early enough to ensure the best potential for treatment. There is a nonprofit called Eyecare America that brings eye exams and care to eligible people who are older than 65 without any out-of-pocket expenses.
- Wear sunglasses outside to protect your eyes from UV damage.
- Because eye health is affected by general well-being, physical exercise can reduce the risk of eye diseases. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends 30 minutes of exercise per day for an overall healthy lifestyle.
- Along those lines, it’s important to monitor your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, because imbalances can increase the possibility of developing eye problems as well.
- Eat a diet that supports eye health. Important components to include are vitamins C and E, zeaxanthin, zinc and lutein. Some foods that contain these beneficial vitamins are vegetable oils, dark leafy greens, whole grains, nuts, citrus fruits and cold water fish such as cod, haddock and hake.
- Smoking cigarettes is detrimental to eye health, as well as overall well-being. According to The American Academy of Ophthalmology, smoking can increase risk for cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.