September is Healthy Aging Month: Tips for Healthy Vision

See well for a lifetime! Below are some tips for maintaining healthy vision as you age:

Visit an eye care professional regularly for a comprehensive dilated eye exam. This is the most important thing you can do to reduce your risk of vision loss as you age. By dilating the pupils and examining the back of the eyes, your eye care professional can detect eye diseases in their early stages before vision loss occurs. Through a comprehensive dilated eye exam, your eye care professional can check for early signs of macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma.

Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Load up on fruits and vegetables to keep your eyes healthy. Dark, leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and collard green are especially good for eye health. Eye health benefits also come from eating wild caught fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut.

Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight increases your risk for diabetes. Diabetes complications such as diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma can eventually lead to vision loss.

Don’t smoke. Smoking increases your risk for age-related macular degeneration, cataract, and other eye diseases that can damage the optic nerve.

Wear sunglasses and a brimmed hat when outdoors. Protecting your eyes from the sun’s UV rays when you are outdoors is vital for your eye health. Choose sunglasses that block 99-100% of both UV-A and UV-B radiation.

The National Eye Institute (NEI), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the federal government’s principal agency for vision research, offers additional eye health information and tips for people to protect their vision as they age.