When it comes to “aging gracefully” the eyes usually aren’t the first thing that comes to mind. But keeping your eyes healthy is vital to your well-being as you age. Healthy eyes allow you to maintain your independence and keep enjoying your favorite activities. Unfortunately, some common lifestyle behaviors can prematurely age your eyes. In this post, Mark Mandel, M.D., a Bay Area vision expert discusses five ways you could be aging your eyes.
1. Exposure to UV Rays
While most people know that the sun’s ultraviolet rays can be harmful to the skin, many don’t realize that they can also damage the eyes. Excessive exposure to solar radiation can increase your risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration. To protect your eyes from the sun, always wear sunglasses that block out 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B rays.
2. Lack of Exercise
Regular physical activity has been associated with a lower risk of visual impairment. Moderate exercise also has many other health benefits, so there are a lot of great reasons to start walking more each day.
Smoking is bad for your eyes, in addition to having other harmful effects on your health. Smoking increases your risk of developing macular degeneration and cataracts, and can worsen diabetic retinopathy. Quit smoking as soon as you can to lower your risk of permanent vision loss.
4. Diabetes and High Blood Pressure
If left untreated, diabetes and high blood pressure can lead to vision loss due to macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and eye strokes. Get regular physical exams to check for diabetes and high blood pressure. If you have one of these conditions, be sure to carefully follow your doctor’s advice for properly managing and controlling them.
5. Skipping Eye Exams
Get a comprehensive exam at least every two years. Some eye conditions have no warning signs, and a trip to the eye doctor is the only way to catch these problems before they have serious consequences. If you have a family history of eye problems, you may want to see your eye doctor even more frequently.
Are You Experiencing Blurry Vision?
Clear, crisp vision is crucial at any age. If you experience blurry vision, you may be a suitable candidate for laser vision correction at our Bay Area office. To learn more about your options, contact Mark Mandel, M.D., by calling 877-210-2020 ext. 3.