ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — The older you get, the more likely you are to suffer from vision loss. About one in six adults aged 45 and older has some type of sight-threatening eye condition. But could you turn back the clock when it comes to your eyes?
They’re smaller than the size of a gumball, but your eyes play a big role in helping you navigate the world around you. Protect them from aging! First, try exercise. Regular physical activity can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration by up to 70 percent. Also, shield your eyes from the sun to keep them young.
Arsham Sheybani, M.D., an ophthalmologist at Washington University in St. Louis said “Over time, UV light from the sun can cause cataract formations, so wearing sunglasses, I think, is very important.”
Only buy a pair that blocks 100 percent of UV rays. Next put down that cigarette. Current and former smokers have up to four-times the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. Smoking also ups your chance of cataracts and uveitis. The right foods can keep your eyes young, too!
Dr. Sheybani told Ivanhoe “One of the other things you can consider is actually green leafy vegetables for macular degeneration.”
Lastly, consider supplements. A national eye institute study showed supplements with vitamin C and E, beta-carotene, copper, and zinc slowed the progression of macular degeneration in high-risk patients.
Another important way to protect your eyes is to schedule regular eye exams. If you have a vision problem, an early diagnosis could lead to treatment that can save your sight.
Contributors to this news report include: Julie Marks, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.
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5 WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR EYES FROM AGING
BACKGROUND: Macular degeneration is the leading cause of severe vision loss in people over age 60. It happens when the small central portion of the retina, known as the macula, deteriorates. There are two types of macular degeneration: dry form and wet form. The “dry” form is characterized by the presence of yellow deposits, called drusen, in the macula. The “wet” form is characterized by the growth of abnormal blood vessels from the choroid underneath the macula. These blood vessels leak blood and fluid into the retina, causing distortion of vision that makes straight lines look wavy, as well as blind spots and loss of central vision. There are not always symptoms in the early stage of macular degeneration, but over time you will notice a change in your quality of vision, and eventually a dramatic loss of central vision. A doctor can determine if you have macular degeneration by looking for tiny yellow deposits under the retina.
TIPS FOR HEALTHY EYES: By age 65, one in three Americans have some form of vision-impairing eye disease; macular degeneration being one of the main diseases. Fortunately there are lifestyle changes that can be made for healthier eyes. Schedule regular comprehensive eye exams, because your eye doctor is the only one who can tell if you have an issue that is not displaying symptoms yet and they can offer help before it’s too late. Know your family’s health history and if they have any hereditary diseases. Eat a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, particularly dark leafy greens such as spinach or kale. Being overweight increases your risk of developing a number of conditions that lead to vision loss, so maintaining a healthy weight is key. When buying sunglasses, look for ones that block out 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation. And if there are not enough reasons to quit smoking already, smokers have up to four times the risk of developing macular degeneration, so put away the cigarettes.
SUPPLEMENTS: Along with living a healthy lifestyle, you can also take supplements that are said to be good for your eyes. Two of the most influential studies of the benefits of eye supplements are the AREDS (Age-Related Eye Disease Study) and AREDS2 studies sponsored by the National Eye Institute. Results of the original AREDS showed that the antioxidant multivitamin used in the study reduced the risk of macular degeneration progression to advanced stages among people at high risk of vision loss by about 25 percent. The multivitamin supplement contained beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, and copper.
* For More Information, Contact:
Washington University Eye Clinic