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September is Healthy Aging Month

September 10th 2019

September is Healthy Aging Month!!
 
As you age, your eyes age too. Like any other organ in your body, your eyes do not stay the same as you get older. Vision changes are normal with age, but vision loss and blindness are not.
Older adults are at higher risk for certain eye diseases and conditions such as:

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD); which progressively eliminates the macula (the part of the eye that provides sharp, central eyesight).
Cataract; a clouding of the lens in the eye.
Diabetic Retinopathy; a complication of diabetic issues that causes damage to the blood vessels of the light-sensitve tissue at the back of the eye (retina).
Glaucoma; a group of conditions that can cause fluid and pressure to build up in the eye and can damage the optic nerve.
Low Vision; a physical disability that cannot be corrected by normal eyeglasses, contact lenses, medication, or surgery that disrupts the capability to perform daily activities.
Dry Eye; a condition that occurs whenever the eye does not produce tears properly or when tears dissipate too rapidly.


Here are some tips to maintain healthy vision now and as you age:
 
Have a Comprehensive Dilated Eye Examination
You may think your eyesight is okay or that your eyes are healthy, but obtaining a comprehensive dilated eye exam is the only way to really make sure. During this exam, an optometrist places drops in your eyes to dilate, or expand, the pupil to allow more light to enter the eye the same way an open door lets more light into a darker room. This enables your optometrist to get a really good look at the back of your eyes and analyze them for any signs of issue or disease. To schedule your appointment, give our office a call!

Eat a healthy, balanced diet
You’ve heard carrots benefit your eyes, but eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits– especially dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, or collard greens — is essential for keeping your eyes healthy and balanced, tooFruits and vegetables can help keep your eyes healthy!
To learn more about eye healthy recipes, visit https://www.optometrists.ab.ca/web/AAO/Patients/Eye_Healthy_Recipes/AAO/Patients/Eye_Healthy_Recipes.aspx?hkey=11886db4-a2f2-4dea-a721-fc3bacb15117

Maintain a healthy weight 
Being overweight increases your risk of forming diabetes and other systemic conditions that can lead to vision loss. By exercising regularly and sticking to a healthy diet, you can help keep your body healthy! If you are having trouble maintaining a healthy weight, talk to your family doctor.

Don’t smoke
Smoking increases your risk for age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and other eye diseases and conditions that can damage the optic nerve, each of which can result in vision loss and blindness. Your eye health is just another reason among many to “butt out”.

Wear protective eyewear when outdoors
Protecting your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays when you are outdoors is vital for your eye health.  See our July blog post about UV safety and protection!

Know your family history  
Talk to your family members about their eye health history. It’s important to know if anyone has been diagnosed with a disease or condition since many are hereditary, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetes. This will help determine if you are at higher risk for developing an eye disease or condition. If there is a family history of macular degeneration, our office provides genetic testing to see if this is something you may encounter later on in life. Give our office a call to set up your appointment!

Consider an eye healthy multivitamin
Vitamins C, E and the mineral zinc have been shown to promote eye health.  Vitamins with Lutein and Zeaxanthin have been known to help patients with moderate to severe age-related macular degeneration. Interested in an eye vitamin? We retail them in store!

Give your eyes a rest  
If you spend a lot of time at the computer or focusing at any one distance, you sometimes forget to blink, resulting in dryness and eye fatigue. Initiate the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look away about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds. This can help reduce eyestrain. Consider using a lubricant eye drop during long periods of intense eye use and rest your eyes for 5 minutes.


You can’t stop time, but you can take care of your eyes so that they remain healthy as you age. Take care of your body and you’ll take care of your eyes, now and in the future. Having a healthy vision can be possible at any age! 
 
 

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