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How Seniors Can Protect Their Eyes

picture of person at an eye doctor
By Written by Senior Living Experts. Edited by Brynn Beaton, Homewatch CareGivers of Lockport

Seniors should visit their eye doctor at least once a year, because vision problems are more likely to occur when we age. Staying on track with doctor’s appointments is one way to monitor eye health, however, there are some ways to protect your eyesight from outside of the doctor’s office.

Keep Track of Your Diet

Nutrients like omega-3, fatty acids, zinc, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and lutein can help prevent age-related vision problems. There are certain foods that contain a lot of these nutrients:

● Leafy vegetables, like spinach and kale Image from Pexels

● Citrus fruits and juices

● Oily fish, like tuna and salmon

● Protein sources that are not meat, such as nuts, beans, and eggs

These foods will not only help seniors eat the rainbow, but it will help their vision health as well. Breakfast smoothies are an easy and delicious way to get eye-healthy nutrients on your plate.

Protect Your Eyes From The Sun

Just like how sunscreen protects your skin from the sun, sunglasses protect your eyes from the sun. The best sunglasses have UV coating, a mirror coating, Anti-reflective (AR) coating, and polarized lenses. Although sunglasses are a fashion accessory, you should also check to make sure your sunglasses have a few of these elements.

A UV coating helps block harmful rays coming from the sun. A mirror coating can reflect the sun rays from hitting your eyes, so you will not feel like you need to squint in order to protect your eyes from the harsh light. An AR coating decreases reflections as well. Lastly, polarized lenses help reduce glare.

Stay Active

Exercise is not something people think about when they are looking to protect their eyesight. Staying active increases blood flow in your body, which leads to better circulation of oxygen throughout your body (including your eyes). This process will remove any toxins present in your bloodstream, therefore, protecting your eyesight.

Give Technology A Break

Every 20 minutes, a 20-30 second break is a simple way to give your eyes a rest from technology. Your eyes can grow tired from staring at screens all day, so it is important to take frequent breaks. If you are reading this on a computer or phone, close your eyes for 30 seconds, take some deep breaths, then come back to continue reading! Blue light glasses also help reduce eye strain while looking at a screen. These can be purchased at stores like Walmart or Target. If you already wear glasses or would prefer not to, you can purchase blue light screen protectors for laptops or smart phones that are easy to stick on to screens and can be bought online through Amazon.

Drink Some Green Tea

Drinking green tea is another way to improve eye health. Green tea has a high concentration of catechin. This antioxidant helps protect the tissues of the eye from glaucoma and several other eye diseases. Incorporating green tea into your diet more will improve your eye health.

Hygiene

If you wear contact lenses, make sure they are clean. Wash your hands before placing them in your eyes. Also, switch your contact lenses out appropriately and always take them out before falling asleep. If any irritation occurs through out the day, consider wearing glasses.

Our advisors at Senior Living Experts hope this helps you stay happy and healthy. Don’t forget to see your eye doctor once a year, as long as you are comfortable doing so with the pandemic. Contact us at seniorlivingexperts.com or call 773-231-7212.