How to Protect Your Eyes as You Age
Just as aging can affect your body, your eyesight may begin to change as you get older. Some of these normal age-related vision changes such as presbyopia (farsightedness), can be easily treated with corrective eyewear or surgery. However, your risk of developing serious eye diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) also increases, which can have lasting effects on your vision. By practicing the following habits, you can decrease your risk of permanent vision damage and promote healthy vision for a lifetime.
1. Don’t Underestimate Vision Changes
If you are experiencing changes in your vision, including blurriness, seeing floaters or flashes, loss of vision, or image distortion, you should schedule a visit with your optometrist. Your eye doctor will be able to evaluate if these symptoms are a result of a more serious eye condition and discuss appropriate treatment options if needed.
2. Wear UV Protection Year-Round
Prolonged exposure to UV radiation can increase your risk of developing eye conditions later in life. Any time you are outdoors, be sure to choose eyewear options that block 100% UVA and UVB rays to keep your eyes healthy for years to come.
3. Learn Your Family Eye Health History
Having family members with a history of eye conditions increases the likeliness that you will develop an eye condition yourself. Knowing this information will help your Shopko Optical optometrist assess your risk and implement appropriate preventative measures if necessary.
4. Don’t Smoke
Smoking can have detrimental effects on your vision. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a person who smokes is two times more likely to develop AMD and two to three times more likely to develop cataracts when compared to a nonsmoker.
5. Receive Regular Eye Exams
Some eye conditions have little to no noticeable symptoms early in development. Meaning you may not even realize that there is a problem with your vision until it is too late. Receiving an annual comprehensive eye exam is the best way to monitor vision changes and detect and treat eye diseases early to prevent permanent vision loss.
6. Take a Screen Break
Although blue light exposure does not cause long-term damage, it can lead to digital eye strain and cause short-term eye discomfort. You can take simple steps such as taking frequent screen breaks, adjusting your workstation, or wearing blue-light-blocking lenses to decrease these symptoms. Learn more ways to decrease digital eye strain here.
While you can’t eliminate your risk of age-related vision changes, you can take steps to lessen their effects. Your Shopko Optical optometrist will help you monitor changes in your sight, detect possible vision-threatening diseases early, and develop treatment plans to keep your vision clear and your eyes healthy.
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