Small Habits Can Make a Difference in Maintaining or Worsening Your Vision as You Age
When you were young, you thought you’d have perfect vision forever. However, when you need to start enlarging the text size on your smartphone, you've now reached a point where you've seen better days, and the time has come to get glasses or contact lenses.
Although you can't halt or reverse the effects of time, certain habits can either help maintain or deteriorate our vision.
Habits to Avoid
Naturally, our vision weakens with age, but there are also daily habits that can harm your vision. Here are some of the most common ones:
· Excessive screen time – Prolonged exposure to blue light strains our eyesight. Limit your use of smartphones, tablets and computers to avoid this strain.
· Inadequate hydration – Hydration is vital to keeping a healthy body in many aspects, including strong eyesight.
· Unhealthy diet – Simple carbohydrates, sodium, saturated and trans fats, condiments, dressings and sweetened drinks are among the worst foods for your eyesight and your health in general. In contrast, read this article to learn about the best foods for your eyes.
· Insufficient sleep – Less than six hours of sleep a night can lead to eye fatigue, thus making them work harder, putting more strain on them. Adequate sleep also ensures your eyes remain continuously lubricated.
· Frequent eye rubbing – If you like to rub your eyes because of the relief it brings, that’s a tough habit to break. However, it can lead to an increased risk of eye diseases and cause distorted vision due to the damage it does to the cornea. Refer to this article for some tips on how to avoid doing it.
· Lack of sun protection – Over time, not protecting your eyes from the sun can be highly damaging. Be sure to wear sunglasses outside, even if you don’t feel like you need them.
· Dimly lit environments – Similar to not using glasses or contacts, poorly lit rooms force your eyes to work harder. Be sure to turn on a few lights or make sure you’re getting adequate natural light from your windows. Additionally, watching TV or using your smartphone in a well-lit room will reduce the effects of blue light on your eyes.
The above actions, or lack thereof, can slowly erode your vision over time. It’s important to be mindful of these because you may do them subconsciously, or the impacts may not be immediately noticeable.
Tips to Maintain Your Vision
In addition to avoiding or mitigating the habits listed above, there are a few other strategies to maintain your vision as you age. Here are the most effective measures you can take:
· Regular eye exams – The best way to stay on top of your eye health as you age is to visit your optometrist annually. Furthermore, regular eye exams can also catch serious medical conditions that have nothing to do with your vision[Hb1] .
· Wear your glasses or contacts – If you have them, they were prescribed for a reason. Attempting to see without them forces your eyes to work harder, leading to strain.
· Exercise – When you think exercise, you may not consider how it will benefit your eyesight. However, with the increased blood flow you get from exercising, more oxygen circulates throughout your entire body — all the way up to your eyes.
These tips may seem minor, but their cumulative effects are substantial. They will do wonders for your eye health and overall wellbeing in the long run.
Even small changes over time can make a difference. While you may not be able to restore your previous vision entirely, you can strive to have better vision in five years by avoiding bad habits and adopting good ones.
The Healthy Vision Association (HVA) is dedicated to helping its members see well and be healthy by providing access to products, services and information that promote vision and overall health. To discover more vision tips, visit healthyvisionassociation.com.
[Hb1]I’d like to hyperlink this to the other article in this assignment, where I am writing about serious health conditions that you can catch from eye exams.