As your eyes get older, they get more frail. It’s a sad fact of life. After age 40, a common eye problem develops: presbyopia. This is the inability to focus on near objects. While not everyone experiences the ravages of aging in the same way, most people suffer at least some deterioration in eyesight. If you want the best possible chance of preserving what you have now, you must be proactive.
Be Careful With Contacts
The ability to buy contact lenses online has unleashed a torrent of activity from consumers who want to rid themselves of spectacles but don’t like paying the high price at the doctor’s office for contacts. There is, unfortunately, a dark side to this story. With the increased use of contacts comes the increased incidence of eye infections and other problems.
When you wear contacts, you absolutely must take care of them according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Do not use any solutions not approved by your doctor. Unless you have extended-wear lenses, you must take them out and clean and disinfect them every night.
Take Your Glasses Off For Near-Work
It’s always been known that wearing contacts and glasses for near work presents a problem. All external lenses have a fixed focal length of 20 feet away. This is how you’re able to have 20/20 vision. When you wear your glasses for work closer than 20 feet, you put strain on your eyes.
Sure, your eyes can compensate for that by accommodation focus, but this works to worsen your condition over time, making you more myopic. Taking your glasses off for near-work allows the variable focus lens of your eye to function normally. It also takes the strain off the eye.
Eat a Good Diet
Eating a diet rich in vitamin A will help to protect your vision, as vitamin A (retinol) forms the pigments in your retinas. Vitamin D helps produce tears, while vitamin E, lutein, zinc, and omega 3 fatty acids all help to protect the eye.
There’s no substitute for diet but, if you cannot stand the taste of liver (the richest source of vitamin A), then supplements might be warranted. Check with your doctor. Some veggies contain beta carotene, which is often wrongly labeled as “vitamin A.” The body can convert beta-carotene to vitamin A, but the conversion in the body is somewhat inefficient so it might not be wise to rely on them as the sole source for vitamin A.
Looking off into the distance helps to relax the eyes. Going outside might be one of the most relaxing things you can do. Get active. Being indoors all day forces you to focus on objects close up. By getting outside to play (yes, even if you’re an adult, you should play), you’re encouraging good eye health.
Take up a hobby that forces you to get outside. It could be a sport of some kind, like skiing or bike riding, or hiking, or fishing. What matters most is that balance your indoor activity with outdoor activity – you’ll thank yourself in your advanced age.
Sarah Cole is an elderly care giver. She loves to write about how to stay healthy while aging on family blogs.