January is National Glaucoma Awareness month! Did you know that more than 2.8 million Americans age 40 and older have glaucoma. Nearly half do not know they have the disease as it causes no early symptoms.
Older adults are much more sensitive to eye problems as they age. By following 3 simple methods, seniors can easily protect themselves from vision loss.
Learn how to develop healthy eyesight before eye problems occur
When you think about it, losing the ability to see the world around you can be scary. We completely rely on our vision for even the most basic tasks. As we age, it’s easy to get in the mindset that deteriorating health is just part of life. But it doesn’t have to be like that.
Here’s three easy ways to fight poor vision and maintain healthy eyes no matter what age you are!
Easy Tip # 1: Add fruits, nuts, and veggies to main dishes
corn, sweet potatoes,
broccoli, and all dark
green, leafy vegetables
almonds, flax seeds,
chia seeds, walnuts
Why these in particular?
These foods offer valuable nutrients that contribute to eye health. While most vegetables are high in vitamin A, citrus fruits contain a good amount of vitamin C. Nuts contribute essential fatty acids, which are also important for eye health.
These foods can easily be incorporated into any diet. Cut up bell peppers, carrots, and brussel sprouts to add to a salad with dark green romaine. Grab a handful of nuts or seeds for a snack.
If you have a caregiver, add these to your weekly grocery list to always have fresh food on hand.
Easy Tip #2: Choose the right vitamins & supplements
No one wants to swallow 53 pills every morning. However, vitamins and supplements can provide excellent sources of nutrients if your diet doesn’t regularly include nutritious foods. Here are two ways to keep the pill amount low and the nutrition high.
Taking a multivitamin? Remember, not all vitamins are created equal.
For eye health, multivitamins should have an adequate daily amount of:
Vitamin A (beta-carotene), Vitamin B complex (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, folic acid, biotin, and choline), Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E
To keep it simple, Vitamin A through Vitamin E are excellent for preventing (slowing down) glaucoma and maintaining general eye health. Daily amounts vary for each individual, so if you are not sure of the recommended daily dose (according to FDA standards) is sufficient, check with a doctor.
Fish oil is another supplement that’s excellent for eye health. The omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to decrease the risk of high eye pressure and glaucoma!
Easy Tip #3: Beware of eye drops
Common over-the-counter eye drops can actually do more harm than good due to misuse and inherent properties of the ingredients.
People who start using drops might notice immediate relief. However, these eye drops are not made to treat medical conditions or long-term problems.
When people self-treat, they risk leaving a major issue unchecked that might turn into a major problem later on. It is highly recommended that you see an opthamologist for any redness, loss of vision, eye pressure, and other symptoms that cause you to question your eye health.