As you age, your eyesight will begin to falter. Although you were able to see perfectly and at far distances when you were 20, you likely do not have the same youthful vision by the time you reach your 50s. However, you can help improve your eyesight by avoiding a few of the things in life that may be causing more damage to your vision health than you may have thought. Here are three things that you need to be aware of that are critically hurting your vision:
Just about everyone knows that smoking is bad for their overall health. This is particularly true for their lungs. However, what many people don't realize is that smoking also has a direct negative effect on their vision. Smoking increases your risk of developing eye diseases, which can eventually lead to the loss of vision. In fact, you are doubling your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by smoking. If you have already been diagnosed with eye issues, smoking could be making your symptoms worse. If you've been trying to figure out a reason to really and truly quit smoking, your eye health may be it.
2. UV Exposure
Most people link extensive UV exposure to skin cancer, but it can also damage your eyes. According to the National Eye Institute, sun exposure can cause cataracts, macular degeneration and pterygium. Roughly one-fifth of cataract cases are caused by extended exposure to UV rays, and macular degeneration is the primary cause of blindness here in the U.S. So, when you head outside, you'll want to make sure that you wear eye doctor-approved sunglasses to keep the sun from directly hitting your eyes.
3. Failing to Take Care of Yourself
Your overall health is linked to your eye health. Things that you think are little, such as managing your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, are actually big things that can make a huge difference in your eyesight. For example, high blood pressure and diabetes can lead to an eye condition known as diabetic retinopathy. With this particular type of condition, damage occurs to the blood vessels in the eyes due to the diabetes. According to the National Eye Institute, you can stop the progression of this particular eye disease by simply maintaining adequate levels of cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar. Your eye doctor, along with your primary care physician, can work with you in developing a course of treatment to ensure that all of the aforementioned stays on track.
Don't take your good vision for granted. It isn't something that will stick around forever unless you take care of it. Schedule an appointment with an eye doctor at a place like Valentine Eye Care as soon as possible to ensure that your eyes are in good shape. It's better to catch problems early on so that there is a better chance of treating them successfully.