Ah, Fall is here! Soon the rain will let up, cooler weather will prevail, the sun will set earlier and holiday decorations will adorn homes and department stores alike. With great vision, you’ll be able to experience the colors and sparkle of the Holidays to come.
As we wrap up September’s Healthy Aging Month, here are some tips to help your vision FALL in line too:
First, find out where your vision stands by scheduling a comprehensive dilated eye exam. The dilated exam differs from the basic eye exam you may have had for glasses or contacts. With a dilated eye exam, the doctor is able to examine the inside of your eyes to detect the early stages of eye disease before vision loss occurs.
Your doctor will be looking for:
- Age-related macular degeneration, which affects the macula, where sharp, central vision is born.
- Cataracts, a clouding of the lens in the eye.
- And Diabetic Retinopathy, a complication of diabetes that damages blood vessels in the retina in the back of the eye.
Spotting these vision issues early is the best way to prevent vision loss. If you are 40-64 years old, you should have a comprehensive dilated eye exam every 2-4 years, if you are 65 or older, every 1-2 years. Anyone with symptoms of eye trouble should see an eye doctor right away.
Fall Into THESE Healthy Habits
Which of these two food choices is best for your vision?
The answer, of course, is “A”. Grapes, along with other foods that are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, such as kale, spinach, squash, corn and kiwi, contain potent antioxidants that can be beneficial to your eye health in helping prevent eye diseases like macular degeneration.
Foods loaded with vitamin C are also beneficial in helping ward off cataracts, the leading cause of blindness in the world. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. The fluid inside the eyeball is normally high in a compound similar to vitamin C, which helps prevent oxidation that results in a clouded lens. Scientists believe more vitamin C in the diet may increase the amount present around the lens, providing extra protection.
Choose whole grains and cereals. They contain fiber, which slows down digestion and the absorption of sugars and starches, while sugars and refined white flours may increase your risk of age-related eye diseases.
Healthy Fat may sound like an oxymoron but it can help prevent dry eyes
Omega-3 essential fatty acids can help the function of the meibomian oil glands in the eyelids, which creates a layer of oil floating on the tear film, which reduces the evaporation rate. Omega-3’s are found in fish, flaxseed oil, walnuts and canola oil.
Stop smoking. Smoking is as bad for your eyes as it is for the rest of your body. It increases your risk for age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and other eye diseases and conditions that can damage the optic nerve. Stopping isn’t easy, but it’s well worth it.
Wear a hat and sunglasses outdoors. Choose sunglasses that block 99 to 100 % of UV-A and UV-B radiation. This simple step, along with proper hydration, including water, vegetable and fruit juices are beneficial for your overall health and eye health.