What’s good for the body is also good for the eyes. Eating well, exercising, getting plenty of rest and not smoking can help keep your eyes in good shape. That said, it’s important not to take your vision for granted—especially as you get older. Some eye diseases such as glaucoma have a way of sneaking up on you with barely noticeable symptoms in the beginning, so it’s wise to get checkups every two years.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Are you a blue-eyed female over the age of 65? Then you have a greater risk of developing a common eye disease called Age Related Macular Degeneration or ARMD, which causes progressive loss of your central sight without leading to total blindness. Although there is no cure, there are many treatments that help ward off its progression.
One promising treatment is vitamin and mineral therapy. Studies show that specialized formulas containing vitamins C, E, beta-carotene, zinc and copper can decrease the risk of vision loss in some patients with intermediate to advanced age-related macular degeneration.
These formulas are available over the counter at your pharmacy— but you should take them only if your doctor recommends them. Note that regular multivitamin formulas are not a substitute for these specialized formulas. Also keep in mind that taking large amounts of vitamins and minerals can be harmful, so don’t try to treat ARMD with your own homemade blend.
Other tips for good eye health include:
Wear sunglasses. As you age, the oxidizing effects of UV rays can speed up the progress of cataracts or macular degeneration. That’s why it’s a good idea to get UV filters on your prescription glasses as well.
Protect your eyes while doing housework. About 42 percent of eye injuries occur when doing household chores—especially with aerosol cleaning agents which can cause serious injury-even blindness-if they get in contact with the eye. This is why you should always wear safety goggles when pouring chemicals, using power tools or spraying aerosols—and of course, double-check to make sure you’re not accidentally pointing the nozzle towards your face.
Soothe your dry eyes. As we age, our bodies produce fewer tears, which can result in burning or stinging eyes. Using artificial tears throughout the day as necessary can help reduce the discomfort. Ask your pharmacist about what kinds are right for you.