September is Healthy Aging Month. There are several ways that you can improve your own health, regardless of your age.
Graceful aging is much easier when you have good health habits throughout your life. Your eye health can also be harmed by bad habits.
This can put you at higher risk for conditions like glaucoma and macular degeneration. While you can’t always prevent these illnesses, you can lower your risk of developing them.
Making good choices that benefit your general health as well as your ocular health is the best solution. Here are 6 helpful tips to follow this Healthy Aging Month!
1. Don’t Smoke
Smoking is bad for your health on many levels. It heightens your risk for lung cancer and can cause all kinds of respiratory problems.
But did you know it can also accelerate your development of cataracts? Studies have shown a correlation between cataract maturation and tobacco use. If you needed another reason to quit, now you have one!
2. Drink Responsibly
Excessive alcohol consumption is never a good idea. It can cause a variety of health problems, including speeding up cataract maturation.
Even when you’re young, getting intoxicated frequently can affect your health as you age. You don’t have to quit drinking altogether.
Try to stick to only drinking in moderation. Go ahead and have a glass of wine with dinner every so often. Enjoy the occasional night out but just be responsible when you do.
Being active has proven health benefits. People who exercise on a regular basis tend to live longer. Even as you get older, it’s important to stay active.
Staying fit also lowers your risk for obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. These conditions are associated with age-related eye conditions like glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.
You don’t have to work out at a gym every night, either. Even going on walks a few times a week can do wonders for your health.
4. Have a Balanced Diet
A healthy and balanced diet is key for staying healthy, even when it comes to your eye health. The right nutrients can prevent premature degeneration and dry eyes.
Foods rich in vitamins C, E, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids are especially good for your eye health. These include citrus fruits, beans, nuts, green leafy vegetables, and oily fish.
Nutritional supplements are always an option if it’s hard to get enough of these vitamins from your food. To get the most out of these nutrients, it’s best to get them from your food. This ensures your body processes them most efficiently.
5. Wear Sunglasses
UV light is harmful to your skin and your eyes. Even in the winter, the sun can do damage to your eyes, especially when reflected on snow.
UV rays can cause long term damage and raise your risk for cataracts and other eye conditions. Like you need to wear sunscreen to protect your skin, you should always wear sunglasses when you’re outside.
Make sure any sunglasses you wear will protect your eyes from 100% of UVA and UVB rays. This is easy to find and is usually on the back of your sunglasses. If it’s not there, find a new pair!
6. Have Regular Eye Exams
You can make sure your eyes stay healthy by seeing an eye care professional regularly. Annual eye exams ensure early detection of eye conditions for treatment in early stages before irreversible damage may happen.
Annual eye exams are especially important after you turn 50. No matter what your age, try to see your eye doctor as regularly as you can.
Want to get your Healthy Aging Month off to a great start? Request an appointment at The Nielsen Eye Center in Boston, MA with one of our expert ophthalmologists today!
One of our Patient Advocates is waiting to speak to you, so call The Nielsen Eye Center at 617-471-5665 to discuss your eye care needs!