Eyesight is one of the senses that we grow so accustomed to that it’s likely the one most taken for granted. It’s not until faced with a disease that causes a decline in vision, or even blindness, that we realize the importance of preventative eye health. Once a person reaches the age of 40, regular eye exams are recommended. Since asymptomatic disorders of eye diseases can easily be mistaken as a normal sign of aging, it’s important that screenings continue into the senior years. Here are a few non-medical tips for improving eye health…
- Proper lighting: Increasing the amount of light in the home is important since pupils change as we age. Use lamps for regular use and task lights for certain activities like cooking or reading. Avoid glare by using lamp shades which help to diffuse light. Halogen and fluorescent bulbs will enhance color interpretation.
- Warm contrasting colors: Reds, yellows and oranges help emphasize objects and make daily activities easier. This is especially significant for persons with minor lens yellowing. Again, halogen and fluorescent bulbs are helpful as they improve color rendering.
- Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants: Diets that incorporate spinach, blueberries, beets, red onion, fish and sweet potatoes just to name a few are packed full of antioxidants that can improve eyesight and repair damage from common eye conditions.
- Natural sunlight protection: Wear sunglasses outside to protect eyes from harmful UV rays. Even if it’s not sunny, sunglasses will keep your eyes from feeling the effects of harsh, drying wind.
- Car air-conditioning and heating: Point vents down to the floorboards, not towards the face. Wearing sunglasses while driving can also help alleviate potential dry eye. Not only is dry eye a nuisance, but in excess it can lead to corneal abrasions and other serious conditions.
- Computer use: Move the computer screen just below eye level so you are looking slightly downwards. Avoid glare from windows and lights. Let eyes readjust by looking away every 20 minutes. For longer computer sessions, take a 15 minute break every 2 hours.
It’s surprising how regular daily activities and habits can adversely affect eyesight. Practice these easy tips and suggestions for better eye health and prevention. Whether it’s warding off dry eye or preventing serious conditions like cataracts and macular degeneration, proper eye care makes a big difference in our overall health.