5 everyday habits that protect your eyesight as you age – Country Living
May 10, 2022
With screen time soaring among all ages, our eyes are under strain like never before. And as we get older, we’re also at increased risk of a range of eye conditions, from presbyopia to cataracts and glaucoma – meaning preserving eye health should be a top priority.
The good news is that there are plenty of easy yet effective tweaks you can make to stand your eyesight in good stead as time passes. Here are just a handful that could help you to keep seeing clearly.
Get your eyes tested
First things first, even if you already tick all of the boxes below and are fit as a fiddle, it’s completely normal for some eye-health conditions to develop as we get older.
Presbyopia, the gradual loss of the eyes’ ability to focus on nearby objects, usually begins to develop in your mid-forties, and ultimately happens to us all at some point. It is caused by the lens of your eye losing flexibility with age, and while it’s nothing to panic about, it’s important to support your eyes accordingly. If you’ve noticed some blurriness when reading your book or newspaper, or looking at food labels or menus in restaurants, ask your optician about ACUVUE multifocal contact lenses. They’re a fuss-free solution that can correct presbyopia symptoms and help you to see near, far and in between with clarity again.
Follow the 20-20-20 rule
If you’re one of the many who spends their working day staring at a laptop, the NHS suggests this simple tip: every 20 minutes, look at something approximately 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds.
Not only can this change in focus help to prevent your eyes from drying out because we tend to blink less in front of a screen, it also reduces the eye strain caused by long days in front of a computer. Set a recurring alarm on your phone as a reminder to take this break – it’s a good excuse to grab a coffee or refill your water bottle, make a phone call or simply stretch your legs, as well as keep your eyes feeling fresh.
Wear the right sunglasses
Had the same pair of sunglasses for years? It might be time to upgrade them. The experts at Moorfields Eye Hospital advise choosing a pair with a UV 400 mark, and the CE mark that shows that they meet European standards – the higher the CE category, the more protection the glasses will offer.
Another factor to consider is that UV rays can still affect your eyes even on cloudy days, so don’t limit your sunglasses to summer. Add them to your outfit in all weathers to increase their impact long term, and consider teaming them a wide-brimmed hat for an extra layer of shade.
Eat more vitamin A
You probably remember being told about carrots helping you to see in the dark when you were a child. While you won’t suddenly develop perfect vision in the pitch black after every serving, carrots do get their orange pigment from beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A – one of the most important vitamins for eye health – so there is some truth in the tale.
Whether you shop at the supermarket, farmer’s market or grow your own, upping your intake of carrots and other vitamin A-rich vegetables, including spinach, peppers and sweet potatoes, could be a simple, tasty way to give your eyes a boost.
Keep on moving
Studies have shown that those who participate in 150 minutes of physical activity per week (or just over 20 minutes per day, which sounds far more achievable) could have a lower risk of developing glaucoma. But staying fit is also important for your overall vision, as eyes need a consistent oxygen supply to stay healthy – something which aerobic exercise can increase.
Anything from a brisk walk to a gentle cycle, or even getting out in the garden, contributes to your quota, and it’s not just your sight that may benefit – basically every area of your body will soon see the advantages of upping activity levels on an ongoing basis.
For more information on proper wear, care and safety, talk to your eye-care professional and read the instructions for use available on the ACUVUE website
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