It is common for people’s vision to worsen as they age. Various age-related conditions can affect your eyes, such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and glaucoma. While these are certainly more common in those over 50, developing vision problems as you age is not an inevitable reality of life. Read on for some tips for preserving your eyesight into your later years.
Current and former smokers are up to four times more likely than non-smokers to develop age-related macular degeneration, one of the leading forms of blindness globally. The risk of getting this condition remains high even when people haven’t smoked for up to 20 years. However, quitting smoking is much better for all aspects of your health, as well as your eyesight. So, if you want to reduce your risk of age-related visual decline, you should consider quitting smoking sooner rather than later.
Get Regular Eye Exams
Scheduling routine appointments with an optician will help you keep on top of your visual health as you age. Many symptoms of age-related visual decline present gradually, so regular examinations will help you keep on top of the issue. At the age of 40, you should book a comprehensive eye exam that healthcare providers can use as a benchmark in years to come.
Following this, annual check-ups will allow you to pick up on any changes to your eyesight as you get older. An optician will be able to spot potential issues and signs of conditions developing and prescribe treatments to protect your vision. It is important to stick to regular appointments, even as you become less mobile with age. Thankfully, companies like Opticall Eyecare provide mobile care home opticians, so you can manage your eye health at any age.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
It is common knowledge that being overweight puts pressure on your heart, cardiovascular system and insulin sensitivity. It is less widely known, however, that being overweight can also severely impact your eyesight. Studies have shown that overweight and obese individuals are much more likely to develop cataracts than those that are a healthy weight.
There is also a reported link between obesity and glaucoma. This is likely due to increased fluid build-up in the eye alongside the other visual risk factors like high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. Age-related macular degeneration is also linked to being overweight, potentially due to increased inflammation and oxidative stress. While the jury is still out about the exact reasons for the correlation between obesity and visual degradation, there is undoubtedly a relationship.
Therefore, if you want to preserve your eyesight as you age, losing weight could be one of the most effective approaches.
To conclude, there is a strong link between age and visual impairment. However, by integrating the lifestyle changes described above, you could reduce your likelihood of developing conditions like cataracts, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration. While eyesight problems may be inevitable for some, you can maximise the odds of seeing better for longer by reducing your risk.