If you’re looking for ways to improve your vision and not fall victim to the very common age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma and dry eye disease, there is hope. Elders are at risk for all the above listed eye conditions, and these could greatly impair your vision. Fortunately, these conditions are also preventable, at least to some degree. Here are some excellent ways to strengthen your vision as a senior and prevent the on start of eye conditions.
Eat More Berries
Berries are an excellent source of antioxidants, more specifically, blueberries and bilberries. Blueberries have some of the most antioxidants compared to any other fruit or berry, and recent studies have shown that people who eat blueberries are less likely to have age-related macular degeneration, or ARMD. Bilberries are another fruit to aim for as these tiny berries contain compounds called anthocyanosides that are believed to protect the retina from macular degeneration.
Cook with Spinach and Red Onions
Spinach has lutein in it, a nutrient that prevents ARMD and cataracts. This nutrient is best absorbed in the body when it is eaten with a form of healthy fat, such as olive oil. The best part is that you can eat spinach any way you’d like and still reap the same nutritional benefits.
Other foods that contain lutein include kale, collard greens and parsley. As far as onions go, it’s a good idea to swap out yellow ones for red ones.
Red onions contain quercetin, which is an antioxidant that is believed to protect the eyes from cataracts. Red onions are an easy switch to make, but you can also get this antioxidant from black and green teas, citrus food, tomatoes and broccoli.
Do Strengthening Eye Exercises
Just like you would exercise your muscles to make them stronger, you can do the same for your eyes. There are specific exercises that have proved beneficial and work the various parts of your eye. It’s best to consult your optometrist or ophthalmologist before doing any exercise routine to ensure that it’s safe for your eyes.
Examples of eye exercises include palming exercises and swinging exercises. In these movements, you focus your eyes on the dark or concentrate on swinging objects in the distance, respectively. These are just two examples of what can be done to improve your vision.
Take a Multivitamin
If you’re not already taking a senior blend multivitamin, now is the time to consult your doctor. Vitamins are excellent ways to replenish the body with the nutrients it doesn’t have, and they’re especially important in keeping the vision strong.
Studies have consistently shown that those who take vitamins are less at risk for developing ARMD and cataracts. The most significant vitamins include zinc and vitamin C, so you may want to take a separate vitamin in addition to your multivitamin.
Start Walking Regularly
Walking does more than just shed excess pounds. Studies show that those who walk regularly have a lower risk of developing glaucoma.
The reason for this is because intraocular pressure is reduced in the eye, therefore reducing the effects of glaucoma.
It’s best to strive for at least four days a week of walking in 30 minute increments, but any new exercise program should be discussed with your doctor first.
Also, walking may not only keep symptoms at bay but prevent them from developing in the first place.
Wear Hats and Sunglasses
Fresh air is rejuvenating, but it’s important to protect your eyes from the glare of the sun. UV rays are damaging to the eyes and put people at an increased risk for developing cataracts or ARMD.
It’s not just the sun’s rays to worry about either but also the drying effects from the wind. That’s why you should wear sunglasses even on days when it’s not sunny.
In addition to wearing sunglasses, you should wear a wide-brimmed hat that will block further UV radiation that could enter the eyes from under, above or around the sunglasses.