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7 Tips For Maintaining Healthy Eyesight As You Age

Affinity Health, a leading provider of high-quality health coverage, provides seven tips for maintaining healthy eyesight as you age.

“Keeping your eyes healthy becomes increasingly crucial as we age,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.

“Changes like needing reading glasses, cloudy vision, and other eye issues with age can affect how we enjoy life. The good news is there are ways to care for your eyes and keep seeing clearly, even as the candles on your birthday cake multiply!”

Read on for seven essential tips for keeping your eyesight in top condition as you age.

Regular Eye Exams

One crucial step in maintaining healthy eyesight is having regular eye exams. Eye care professionals recommend that adults over 40 have their eyes examined every one to two years, even if they don’t currently have any vision problems. These exams are vital for detecting age-related eye diseases in their early stages when they are most treatable.

Protect Your Eyes from Harmful UV Rays

 

Long-term exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation may raise the risk of cataracts and other eye diseases. Wear sunglasses that block out 99% to 100% of UVA and UVB rays outdoors. A hat with a broad brim can provide further protection.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

 

Choose antioxidant-rich foods that benefit eye health, including leafy greens and omega-3 fatty acid-rich fish. Consuming vitamins C and E, zinc, and carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin can lower the risk of chronic eye conditions.

Stay Active

 

While physical activity doesn’t directly boost eye health, it can help prevent or control systemic conditions that can lead to eye problems, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol.

Quit Smoking

 

Smoking increases the risk of developing cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, and other eye conditions. If you smoke, seek help to quit.

Give Your Eyes a Break

 

Although computers play a significant role in our everyday routines, excessive screen time can cause digital eye strain. If you work on a screen daily, adopt the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look away from the screen and focus on a different object for at least 20 seconds. Adjusting the ambient lighting, minimising glare, and correctly positioning your computer screen can also help reduce eye strain.

Common Health Conditions Affecting Vision As We Age

 

Here are some common age-related eye health conditions to watch out for:

 

Cataracts

Cataracts, most seen in individuals over age 60, are characterised by the clouding of the eye’s natural lens. Symptoms include blurred vision, difficulty seeing in low light conditions, and seeing halos around lights. While cataracts can impair vision, they are treatable through surgery.

 

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

AMD targets the macula, a part of the retina crucial for central vision. AMD comes in two forms: dry and wet. The dry variant is more common and advances slowly, whereas the wet variant is less common but more serious. Lifestyle changes like adopting a diet rich in antioxidants and specific treatments can help manage AMD.

 

Glaucoma

Glaucoma encompasses a group of eye conditions that lead to optic nerve damage, often due to elevated eye pressure. Without early intervention, it can result in vision impairment or blindness. Regular eye check-ups are essential for prompt detection and treatment, which could involve medications, laser treatments, or surgical procedures.

 

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is an eye-related complication arising from diabetes, characterised by harm to the retina’s blood vessels – the light-detecting layer located at the eye’s rear. Symptoms include blurred vision, variable sight clarity, the appearance of dark spots or string-like shapes (floaters) in the field of vision, and potentially blindness. Keeping your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol in check can help protect your eyes and slow down any changes caused by diabetic retinopathy.

 

Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome occurs when there aren’t enough tears to keep the eyes moist or when the tears dry up too fast, causing discomfort, redness, and fuzzy vision. Various treatments are available, including artificial tears, prescription eye drops, or procedures to conserve or produce more tears.

About Affinity Health

 

Affinity Health is South Africa’s leading health coverage provider, offering you a range of options at affordable rates, including access to the widest national provider network. We understand the importance of having medical insurance that meets your needs, budget, and lifestyle. Our healthcare products are designed to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service. For more information, follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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