September is Healthy Aging Month—the perfect time to talk about what you can do now that will keep you (and your eyes) in better shape as you get older.
To that end, we’re giving you our top five tips for keeping your eyes young:
Stop rubbing. Rubbing can cause microscopic damage to the surface of the eyes that can aggravate irritation and contribute to long-term damage. Be gentle: Use soothing lubricated eyedrops to relieve discomfort instead.
Eat for (and with) your eyes. Diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A, C and E, beta carotene and lutein are good for overall health, but especially for your eye health. An easy rule of thumb for getting lots of good-for-you nutrients is loading your plate with a variety of colors at every meal. Deep greens, reds, oranges and yellows are indicative of fruits and vegetables that are brimming with eye-healthy vitamins and minerals. Save a small portion of your plate for lean meats, seafood, nuts and unprocessed grains that are rich in healthy fats. Enjoy desserts once in a while but keep your portions small or opt for a treat with eye-friendly berries on top.
Kick butts. And by “butts” we mean cigarette butts. Almost nothing ages the body prematurely as effectively as smoking! In addition to exponentially raising your risk of cardiovascular disease and many types of cancer, smoking is particularly harmful to your vision. The fumes dry your eyes, while smoke inhalation dehydrates them, and the rest of your body, from the inside out. This nasty habit is also believed to speed up the development of age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and other health conditions.
Get moving. Exercise is proven to reduce the risk of cataracts, glaucoma and other age-related eye changes. While scientists still don’t fully understand exactly how fitness benefits eyesight, it’s believed that exercise increases high-density lipoproteins (or HDL, the “good” cholesterol) in the blood. Healthy levels of HDL have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidative effects on the body, which reduces eye pressure and vascular damage. Exercise also improves blood flow and circulation to eye tissues and helps flush toxins away from the eyes.
Consider Laser Cataract Surgery, LASIK or other vision correction procedures. Think about it: Along with age comes a higher risk of falls, whether because of balance disturbances, muscle weakness or deteriorating vision. You can take one of those risk factors out of the equation by removing cataracts as soon as they begin to develop (they won’t go away on their own) and correcting other vision problems that contribute to the risk of falls. Issues like nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism can be vastly improved with modern vision correction treatments like Laser Cataract Surgery.
It goes without saying that you should keep your annual eye exam appointment so you can stay on top of vision issues as they arise. That way, your eyes can age gracefully … and slowly!
Missouri Eye Institute has helped thousands of patients attain freedom from glasses and contact lenses. Contact us at (800) 383-3831 to schedule a thorough eye exam or visit MissouriEye.com to learn more about our services.
Very professional and friendly. I have been here twice in the last two years and I would highly recommend them to anyone.
Staff was informative and caring. They explained what to expect at every step of the procedure. Lots of caring and information.
The entire staff at MEI was very kind and professional. I highly recommend them for your eye care. Very friendly!