As you add years to your life, you also are adding to the chances of developing vision difficulties or diseases that can lead to eye problems. That is why medical professionals advise aging patients to make regular trips to see their eye doctor.
Check For Symptoms
To help prevent eye problems, be sure your family doctor checks you for symptoms of diseases, such as diabetes, that could cause eye difficulties. In addition, you should schedule checkups with an ophthalmologist, or eye doctor, every year or two and have eye exams to determine whether you are experiencing the onset of a specific disease of the eye. As with most diseases, early detection can result in successful treatment.
During these exams, the eye doctors can screen for glaucoma, which is a common in aging patients. If untreated, this condition can lead to blindness. The exam also should include testing of your vision, your glasses, and your eye muscles.
Those who are over the age of 65, who have a family history of eye disease, or who suffer from diabetes should have an exam involving pupil dilation once a year. Though it is not always included as part of a regular eye exam, enlarging the pupil is how the eye doctor can discover eye diseases early, even before they produce symptoms.
How To Maintain Eye Health
No matter your age there are things you can do to help maintain eye health in between checkups. These tips include:
- Eat fish twice per week or take supplements to increase the amount of omega-3 fatty acids you ingest. This will help lower the risk of dry-eye syndrome, which is when your eyes do not produce enough tears. Other eye-friendly foods include sweet potatoes, which have vitamin A to help with night vision, and spinach, which may help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration.
- Wear goggles when swimming or performing tasks that can produce flying debris, such as sawing wood.
- Avoid dry air by making certain that air vents, such as those in your car, are point down. Dry air can result in dry eyes, which can contribute to corneal abrasions. Wear sunglasses to keep your eyes protected not just from the glare and UV rays of the sun, but also from the drying effects of the wind.
- Another way you can protect your cornea is to thoroughly remove eye makeup before you go to bed. However, be careful when using makeup removal products and do not get them into your eye.
- Do not share face towels. This can easily lead to developing pink eye, or conjunctivitis, which is highly contagious.
- Take a break from close work or reading every 30 minutes to help prevent eye strain.
There are other tips we could add, including using the correct light to avoid eye strain and getting regular exercise. Between you and your eye doctor, you can work to keep your eyes healthy and protect your vision all through your life.