Outside of an occasional visit to our eye doctor for new glasses, most of us rarely think about our vision and keeping our eyes healthy. But did you know that as we age our eyes are more susceptible to change? Here are the most common changes that happen to our eyes over time and ways we can keep them healthy now and in the future.
Under age 40? Add eye-friendly foods to your diet.
Our vision remains pretty steady through our 20s and 30s, so eating the right foods to keep our eyes healthy and prevent future disease is important. A diet rich in vitamin C can lower your risk of cataracts, vitamin E can slow age-related macular degeneration and omega-3 fatty acids from fish can protect your eyes from glaucoma and help with dry eyes. Vitamin A and zinc are particularly beneficial too, as they’ll help your night vision. Stock up on food with these vitamins and minerals like red bell peppers, sunflower seeds and nuts, salmon and leafy greens, according to medical experts at WedMD.
Over 40? Diet, antioxidant supplements and eye drops keep eyes healthy.
After age 40 we begin to notice subtle changes in our vision (say hello to reading glasses!). Almost all of us will experience presbyopia, when our eyes’ lenses becomes less flexible and it becomes harder to read and perform close-up tasks, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Dry eye can also become an issue, especially in women over 50, studies show. To relieve the discomfort of dry eyes, look for drops with soothing botanicals like eyebright that help keep the surface of your eye lubricated. Find it in Similasan Dry Eye Relief Eye Drops, a natural homeopathic remedy.
Our eyes may also begin to develop early signs of age-related eye disease like cataracts, glaucoma or macular degeneration. Maintaining a healthy diet rich in vitamins A, C, E, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids is important, as is supplementing our diet with antioxidants that can slow the progression of early-stage eye diseases.
Lutein and zeaxanthin—found naturally in green vegetables and eggs and in supplements derived from marigold extract—are important additions to our diet for eye health. Rich in antioxidant carotenoids that are found in high concentrations in our eyes, lutein and zeaxanthin filter out damaging high-energy blue wave lengths of light that can damage photoreceptors in the retina, leading to cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Pharmaca Lutein and Bluebonnet Zeaxanthin + Lutein are good sources of these powerful antioxidants.
If you’re over 60 (or over age 40 for African-Americans) your risk of glaucoma, or elevated eye pressure, increases. Adding black currant extract to your diet can help prevent the disease or keep symptoms from worsening due to black currants’ high level of anthocyanins (natural antioxidants), researchers tell us. Choose a supplement that combines black currant extract with lutein and zeaxanthin like Dr. Mercola Eye Support with Lutein for eye health now and as you age.