Last Updated on September 23, 2020 by Ellen Christian
I never gave much thought about how to improve my eye health until about a year ago when I was diagnosed as having the early stages of cataracts. I’m not sure why it took having eye problems for me to start being more curious about eye health, but it did. It turns out that there are a number of eye problems that become more common as we age; besides cataracts, these include glaucoma and Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).
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Improve Your Eye Health With These 10 Simple Tips
Since February is AMD Awareness Month, I thought I would share a few simple tips to show you how to improve your overall eye health. Like everything else in life, it’s always best if you start before you are experiencing problems. Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) destroys central vision and is the leading cause of severe vision loss in adults over age 55.
1. Always wear sunglasses. Absolutely always, even on days that you don’t think are particularly sunny. Sunglasses protect your eyes from the sun’s UV rays, which could lead to cataracts. Plus, they protect against “blue light” from the solar spectrum, which could increase your risk of macular degeneration.
2. Eat the foods that help keep your eyes healthy. Just a few of these foods include bell peppers, carrots, dark green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, turkey, wild caught salmon, and chia seeds. Start the day off with a green smoothie with a tablespoon of chia seeds for a healthy way to start the day.
3. Get enough sleep. Getting enough sleep allows your eyes enough time to rest, repair and recover. You should try to get at least eight hours of sleep a night. Remember, having a set sleep schedule and going to bed the same time each night will help you have a better night’s sleep.
4. Take a break. If you work on the computer all day, remember to take periodic breaks to give your eyes a rest. Ideally, aim for 10 minutes rest for every 50 minutes you are reading or on the computer.
5. Take supplements with Lutein and Zeaxanthin to protect your macula. The macula is an oval yellowish area near the center of the retina. It supports our central, sharpest vision, and controls our ability to do things like read, drive a car, recognize faces or colors, and see objects in fine detail. Macular pigment absorbs harmful blue light, protecting the photoreceptors (the cones and rods responsible for central and peripheral vision) from damage. As we age, the macula can deteriorate, causing vision distortion and blurriness.
There are several risk factors for developing AMD. Some we can control, such as smoking, diet and being overweight. Some we cannot control, like family history, age and gender (females are more likely to develop AMD). Low macular pigment is a key risk factor for AMD, the leading cause of significant vision loss over age 55.
“Lutein and zeaxanthin act as ‘internal sunglasses’, providing protection against damaging light,” according to Stuart Richer, OD, Ph.D.
Due to the aging Baby Boomer population, it is estimated that the number of people with AMD will double by 2020. Please share this post to help bring awareness to the topic of AMD during AMD Awareness Month.
Ellen is a busy mom of a 24-year-old son and 29-year-old daughter. She owns six blogs and is addicted to social media. She believes that it doesn’t have to be difficult to lead a healthy life. She shares simple healthy living tips to show busy women how to lead fulfilling lives. If you’d like to work together, email email@example.com to chat.