5 Tips To Keep Your Eyes Healthy At Any Age
At Carolina Cornea, we believe that your eyesight is your most precious sense. Unfortunately, it’s also the sense that deteriorates most noticeably with age and the sense we miss most acutely when it starts to fail. While there are restorative procedures such as cataract surgery and LASIK eye surgery that we perform in our Greenville office, there are also preventative measures that you can take right now to protect your eyesight.
1) Get Regular Eye Exams
Dr. Parker explains: “When it comes to eye care, people tend to neglect preventative visits, which is a huge mistake. There are many eye diseases and conditions that show no symptoms until they are fairly advanced and then show up seemingly without warning. As we age, we are all at more risk for glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts. Glaucoma and macular degeneration, for example, have no early warning signs but are easy to detect in a dilated eye exam and even easier to treat in the early stages. Every week we see a patients who would have benefitted from earlier intervention to preserve their vision.”
The upshot: Don’t wait until something’s gone wrong to schedule an eye appointment. You should get your eyes checked every year with a full, dilated eye exam, especially if you are over 50 years old. Your eyes, and your future self, will thank you. Contact Carolina Cornea today to schedule your annual eye exam.
2) Eat Right To Protect Your Sight
As with all aspects of your health, your eyesight can be both strengthened and protected by a healthy diet. Carrots are fine – but your eyes will get a bigger boost from dark, leafy greens like kale, spinach, and turnip greens and dark berries, including blueberries and blackberries. These foods are rich in a type of carotenoid called lutein, which protects eyes from age-related macular degeneration. Eating leafy green vegetables also decreases your risk for glaucoma and consumption of vitamin C containing foods decreases the risk of cataracts.
3) Quit Smoking (Or Don’t Start)
Anything that affects your general health will also affect your eyesight, and smoking is no exception. Not only does smoking pollute the air, adding stress and making you more likely to rub your irritated eyes, it also increases your risk of cataracts, and macular degeneration.If you’ve tried to quit before and failed, keep trying. Even cutting back your smoking habit will have a significant effect on your eyesight.
4) Improve Your Eyelid Care and Prevent Dry Eye Symptoms
After women remove their eye make-up or when men are in the bath/shower, everyone should spend one minute a day gently warming their eyelid edges with their fingertips and a washcloth/paper towel while keeping their eyes closed. This one minute of lid warming stimulates the Meibomian glands of the eyelid edges. These oil glands provide the oil which is the outside coating of the tear film and decreases the evaporation of the water component of the tears. When you concentrate on your computer screen your blink frequency decreases by 50% and having a better oil layer will save you from most dry eye symptoms.
5) If You Wear Contacts, Consider One Day Disposables
Contact lens complications are largely preventable. Most prescriptions are now available in one day disposables, and prices for this type of contact lens are very competitive. The patient starts each day with a fresh contact lens that has been packaged in sterile saline, wears it all day, and throws away the lens at the end of the day. There is no exposure to chemicals which one may be sensitive to. One-day disposables also dramatically reduce risk of infection, because there is no day-to-day protein build up which would facilitate adherence of bacteria. All currently available contact disinfection solutions are imperfect, so throwing away the lens each night is a great way to avoid contact lens related corneal infections.