Sight is one of your most important senses so it is very important to always keep it healthy especially as you get older. Diseases that usually occur in elderly people such as cataract, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and macular degeneration can bring about low vision and even blindness.
Here we have put together some practical tips on how to look after the health of your eyes as you age.
Table of contents
- 1. No eye rubbing
- 2. Try not to consume excessive coffee
- 3. No smoking
- 4. Have sufficient sleep
- 5. Put on safety eyewear
- 6. Look away from screens
- 7. Regularly visit your eye doctor
1. No eye rubbing
Most individuals seem to have the habit of rubbing their eyes quite often. This is obviously bad for your eyes. Always be mindful of the fact that most of the time your hands have many germs that would result in certain medical conditions including various diseases and infections. Therefore, always clean your hands several times a day as long as you are unable to avoid rubbing them over your peepers.
2. Try not to consume excessive coffee
If you are unable to resist the temptation to drink coffee every morning or afternoon, perhaps try to go for green tea instead. Drinking green tea can provide you with a variety of antioxidants such as vitamin E, vitamin C, lutein and zeaxanthin which assist your eyes in counteracting eye issues like macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.
3. No smoking
Many studies indicate that smoking raises your probability of developing uveitis, macular degeneration and cataracts apart from other medical conditions. Have a think before going with your urge to put a cigarette in your mouth. Which one would you choose: the aforementioned medical conditions or your healthy eyes?
4. Have sufficient sleep
If you do not sleep on a regular basis, there will be issues about your eyes. So, 7-8 hours of sleep will suffice so your eyes have a great rest and are free from strain.
Tips on how to rest your eyes without falling asleep
Apart from getting enough sleep, if your day becomes very busy, it is possible to get some rest for your eyes without sleeping. Follow the following tips for your eyes’ health:
• Practice meditation
• Zoning out (also known as mind-wandering) like looking at cars and pedestrians out of the window and do not think of anything to rest your eyes and your mind.
• Intentional resting temporarily
• Stay passively awake (Paradoxical Intention) instead of trying to sleep
5. Put on safety eyewear
If you like playing sports such as squash, ice hockey or lacrosse or any kind of dangerous airborne materials, you are advised to use safety glasses. Sunglasses are also essential because they can serve as your shield from harmful UV (ultraviolet) rays as well as protect you from cataracts, pinguecula and macular degeneration (AMD). The option of UV protection contact lenses is also there.
Can your eyes heal from sun damage?
Yes, your eyes can heal from sun damage when a medical condition called photokeratitis is only mild. If you manage to get out of the sun right away, this eye condition will disappear shortly. You need to be careful of the following symptoms: bloodshot eyes, sensitivity to bright lights, watery eyes and a weird feeling like you have sand or a material in your eyes.
It is true that the side effects of getting exposed to the UV light from the sun merely happen in the short run. However, eye diseases like cataracts are not easy to cure. You need to consult an eye doctor or optometrist for best solutions to your individual case.
6. Look away from screens
If you look at screens of electronic devices for too long, your eyes will definitely hurt and you may develop some serious eye conditions without protection from quality eyewear. It is advisable that you let your eyes take a break every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Get up at least every 2 hours and have a 15-minute break.
Adjusting the screen so your eyes are in the same level as the top of the monitor so you would look a little down at the screen. Also use a screen that can counteract glare from windows and lights. In addition, if your eyes are dry, you are advised to blink more often or perhaps try to use artificial tears.
7. Regularly visit your eye doctor
Do not underestimate the importance of a constant eye exam. Eye specialists or optometrists advise taking a complete eye exam at least once every couple of years. In the exam, you will experience:
• Vision tests to determine farsightedness/nearsightedness, presbyopia (changes in vision due to aging process), astigmatism (blurred vision caused by a curved cornea)
• Tests to determine coordination between both eyes
• Optic nerve and eye pressure tests to spot glaucoma
• Microscopic and external eye examination before and after dilation
What your eyes tell you about your health
We have put together 10 symptoms for what your eyes tell you about your health:
1. Blurred vision
Apart from being the reason for blurred vision, nearsightedness can signify diabetes. This is how your eyes and diabetes are related and this will typically happen in overweight or obese people. If you happen to see glares and halos around the sources of light, this might be a sign of cataracts.
2. Vanishing image in your vision
If you see a missing image from a certain area of your vision, this indicates an eye migraine. Headaches will follow this symptom because of disorders related to your brain. It is harmless and there is no known accurate root cause and also no ways to cure it.
3. Dry eyes
If your eyes become dry, discomfort and itching will follow. The reason of this occurrence is a seasonal allergy. Besides, if dryness happens so often that your eyes get more sensitive to light, you might experience Sjorgren’s syndrome which is a rare immune system disorder.
4. Involuntary tears
If your tears come out unintentionally, you might be having a dry eye. In more detail, the eye tries to make up for the absence of moisture. People who spend a long time in front of TV or mobile phone screens and desktop or laptop monitors will commonly experience this phenomenon.
Has it suddenly become difficult to close one eye and control its lachrymation? This is a symptom of paralysis of the nerve, which controls the face muscles. It can be a complication after a viral infection.
5. Red eyes
Inadequate sleep, lengthy hours of work, exposure to sun or wind might result in red eyes. If your eyes become red unexpectedly, this may indicate diseases such as diabates, high intracranial pressure and glaucoma (or increased intraocular pressure).
6. White circle around the iris of the eye
Having a white circle around the iris of your eye is typical as you get to retirement age. This case is not something to be concerned about. However, if you are in only twenties and thirties, then it indicates high levels of triglycerides and cholesterol. This case means you have a higher chance of getting a stroke or heart attack.
7. White spots on the cornea of the eye
If you have white spots on the cornea of your eye, this might mean you have a corneal infection. It typically happens in those who put on contact lenses with an expired shelf life or for a lengthy period of time (including overnight).
8. Yellow eye whites
If your eye whites become yellow, this usually means your liver and bile ducts may function properly. You may also develop hepatitis.
9. Yellowish spot near the iris
Having a yellowish area or a bump on your eye white (also known as pinguecula) might signify aging of the conjunctiva. It typically takes place in older people.
UV rays may intensify the disease. Those who get exposed in the sun, wind, dust and smoke fairly often will get pinguecueles although this is not harmful to your vision.
On the whole, some tips above may not seem directly relevant to by the sound of them. However, they all make good contributions to your eyes’ health.
It is true that following the tips mentioned above is not going to protect you against every risk but it can reduce your chance of getting into visual trouble.