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7 Tips for Protecting Vision as You Age

There are few upsides to aging as your body’s systems begin to succumb to years of wear and tear, but aging gracefully, with your health intact, is possible with a few preventive measures — especially when it comes to your eyesight.

At Valley Eye Professionals, we partner with our patients in the Studio City area of Los Angeles, California, to help them see far into the future. Together, with a little vigilance and some expert oversight, we can protect your vision as you age.

To get you started, here are seven things you should keep in mind, especially during September, which is Healthy Aging Month.

1. A starting point

Even if you’ve enjoyed decades of great eyesight, you should establish a baseline of your vision when you reach age 40. This is easily done through a vision and eye exam here at our practice. During this exam, we not only take stock of how well you’re able to see, we also check the general health of your eyes, looking for any potential issues that may turn into serious problems down the road.

This baseline is important moving forward and gives us something to gauge your eye health against as the years pass by.

2. A step ahead

One of the best ways to protect your vision is through early detection and preventive measures. It’s important that you schedule regular visits with us after age 40 so we can track any changes in your eyes. When it comes to cataracts and glaucoma, for example, early detection helps us slow the progression of these diseases in order to preserve your eyesight.

3. Health management

If you’re dealing with medical conditions that can have a negative impact on the health of your eyes, it’s important to address these issues diligently. The best example of this is diabetes, which can wreak havoc on your nervous system, including your optic nerve. Also, high blood pressure can cause problems in your eyes.

By better managing these larger issues, you can prevent complications that play out in your eyes.

4. Look away

In a world of staring at tiny screens, your eyes have their work cut out for them and become fatigued in the process. Think about the hours you spend looking at a screen, especially the small one on your phone. What you may not realize is that when you’re looking at a screen, you’re blinking far less, which means your eyes aren’t getting the hydration and nutrients they need. And they’re also stuck focusing on one thing only.

A good rule of thumb is that for every 20 minutes in front of a screen, you should look up and focus on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This helps your eyes take a break from the screen in front of you and allows them to refocus on something else.

5. Light it up, or down

Sticking with screens for a moment, you should also make sure your screen matches the lighting around you. If it’s too bright, it creates a glare that can fatigue your eyes, and a screen that’s much darker than the bright light around you also tires your eyes. The best way to solve the problem is to adjust the screen’s brightness to the light in the room.

6. Make a change

One of the best ways to safeguard your vision, and your overall health, is to make a few lifestyle changes. We’re going to start with the big one: quitting smoking. Studies show that smokers are four times as likely to develop age-related macular degeneration.

Next up is losing weight. Obesity has been linked to cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration, so losing weight may help preserve your eyesight.

Last, you can do double duty by ramping up your daily exercise. A good exercise regimen helps you lose weight and improves your circulation, which helps maintain your eyesight.

7. Lower the shades

We live in an area where the sun shines abundantly, so eye protection is important in preventing the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays from damaging your eyes. So channel your inner movie star and don the shades when you’re outside.

Let the optometrists at Valley Eye Professionals help you get started on protecting your vision as you age. Please give us a call or use the online scheduler to request an appointment.

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