Signs of eye problems like glaucoma, cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) become apparent as one grows older, which means you need to take care of your eyes once you reach 40. Here are some tips to help you.
1. Protect your eyes from ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Prolonged exposure to UV radiation from sunlight causes premature aging of the eyes, and is one of the factors that contribute to the eye problems we mentioned in our introduction. When buying sunglasses, make sure they have UV filters – off-the-rack ones usually don’t have them. When in doubt, buy your sunglasses from eye care centers.
2. Get regular eye exams. If you haven’t had an eye exam in the past year, see your eye doctor soon even if you don’t feel signs of apparent vision problems. An annual eye exam lets your eye doctor spot early signs of eye diseases and help you plan a preventative treatment. Regular eye exams are especially important if you have certain medical conditions like diabetes, where there is a higher risk of eye disorders.
3. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants present in fruits and vegetables can help reduce the risk of cataracts. The following are some of the vitamins and nutrients that you should include in your diet:
- Lutein and zeaxanthin from fruits and dark green leafy vegetables, including broccoli, persimmons and tangerines.
- Ascorbic acid, also known as vitamin C, is found in citrus fruits as well as in tomatoes and strawberries.
- Vitamin E is found in vegetable oils and nuts.
- Omega-3 fatty acids help improve retinal function as well as visual development in young children. Cold-water fish like tuna and salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
4. Rest your eyes. If you spend a significant amount of time in front of screens, be it your computer, your TV or your smartphone, rest your eyes frequently to reduce eye strain. Keep in mind the “20-20-20 rule”: look away from the screen at something that’s 20 feet away for 20 seconds for every 20 minutes you look at a screen.
If you need advice regarding eye health or if you need a new pair of eyeglasses, call Guilford Eye Center at (336) 292-4516, or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve clients in Greensboro, NC, and the surrounding communities.