Did you know that smoking, high blood pressure and diabetes can contribute to vision loss? But you can take control of your health, including your vision, as you grow older. You can achieve this through better nutrition, increased physical activity and positive lifestyle choices.
Schedule regular appointments with an eye doctor at Lighthouse Guild, and also follow these steps to keep your eyes and your other organs as healthy as possible:
- Make nutritious food choices: You can help ward off eye disease by eating antioxidant-rich, dark green leafy vegetables. Also, prepare meals that include fatty fish, legumes, eggs, carrots, avocados and wheat germ while reducing the amount of salt and sugar in your daily diet.
- Maintain a healthy weight: If you are overweight, seek professional help from a nutritionist to lose the pounds. Your weight can affect the health of your eyes. For instance, obesity is a major cause of diabetes, which can lead to diabetic retinopathy as well as cataracts and glaucoma.
- Stop smoking: A good reason to stop smoking is that it can harm your eyes, just like it affects the health for the rest of your body. Smoking increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and dry eye syndrome. If you smoke, you’re twice as likely to develop macular degeneration compared with a nonsmoker, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And you’re two to three times more likely to develop cataracts compared with a nonsmoker.
- Keep moving: You don’t have to join a gym to exercise. A brisk daily half-hour walk can bolster your physical health including your vision.
- Wear quality sunglasses and a brimmed hat: Apart from skin cancer, long-term UV exposure can damage your cornea and also cause cataracts, macular degeneration and eye cancer. Wear large, wraparound sunglasses to protect 100 percent against harmful UVA and UVB rays.
- Don’t skip sleep: You probably heard someone say as we get older we don’t need as much sleep. In fact, to protect your eyes from eyestrain and to maintain overall physical and mental health, you should get between seven and nine hours of sleep every night.
WHAT CAN I DO NEXT TO TAKE CARE OF MY EYES?
Call 212-769-6313 for Lighthouse Guild’s full service Optometric and Low Vision Clinic. It is a full service eye care center dedicated to diagnosing and treating eye disease. The clinic also provides comprehensive low vision services to children and adults with visual impairment.
Call 212-305-9535 for ColumbiaDoctors Ophthalmology’s Robert Burch Family Eye Center. It is located at Lighthouse Guild: 15 West 65th Street, 1st Floor, New York, NY 10023. The center is ColumbiaDoctors Ophthalmology’s third and newest location, where full-time faculty members provide cutting-edge eye and vision care, including pediatric ophthalmology.