Keeping your eyes healthy as you get older is essential not only for your overall health, but also your independence during your golden years. While you might not be able to prevent all eye diseases, there are things you can do to help protect your eyes from vision loss.

Understand Your Risks for Eye Disease

If your grandparents, parents, or siblings have a history of eye disease, you could be at a higher risk of developing it, too. Your age increases your risk for eye disease. As you get older, your risk increases for developing cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, or glaucoma. You may also be at a higher risk for certain eye diseases like glaucoma if you are African American.

Don’t Skip Your Eye Exams

Comprehensive eye exams can be your first line of defense to detecting eye problems. The earlier eye disease is detected, the earlier treatment can start to help prevent vision loss. Don’t forget to discuss your health history and family history of eye disease with your eye doctor. Ask your doctor how often you should have your eyes examined.

Keep Health Conditions Under Control

Certain health conditions can increase your risk for eye disease, including diabetic retinopathy. If you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, you are at a higher risk for vision loss. It is crucial to keep these health issues under control to keep your eyes healthy.

Eat a Healthy Diet

When you were younger were you told to that eating carrots helps your vision? It is true that eating fresh vegetables, especially leafy green ones can help keep your eyes healthy. Make sure to include healthy foods with higher levels of vitamin C and E, lutein, zinc, zeaxanthin, and omega-3 fatty acids to help prevent age-related macular degeneration.

Don’t Smoke

There are so many reasons why you should not smoke, including the increased risk of vision loss. Smoking tobacco is directly linked to age-related macular degeneration. Smokers are also at an increased risk for cataracts.

Wear Your Sunglasses

The cumulative effects of the sun’s UV rays put you at increased risk for retinal damage, cataracts, and cancerous and non-cancerous growths on your eye. Wear sunglasses that block 100% of both UV-A and UV-B rays.

It is never too early to take charge of your eye health. Call Valley Eyecare Center at (602) 955-2700 to schedule your comprehensive eye exam today.