Brazilian novelist, Paulo Coelho, once wrote, “The eyes are the mirror of the soul.” The meaning of this has been interpreted as being able to see someone’s thoughts by looking into their eyes. But did you know your eyes can also be a mirror of your health? As with most things about our bodies as we age, our eyes are no different. Your eyes age. Therefore, it is important to pay attention and address any changes in your eyesight as you age.
Certain systemic health problems can be reflected by changes in one’s eyesight. One early warning sign for high blood pressure as well as diabetes is blurriness in your eyesight. If left unchecked, these diseases can actually damage your vision.
Of course, health problems are not the only thing that affect your vision. Merely aging, coupled with environment and daily activities can also affect your sight.
There are several things you can do to in order to keep your visual acuity as healthy as is humanly possible.
Remember the World War II propaganda about carrots helping you to see in the dark? Well, it turns out that it really wasn’t all that wrong. Though the truth was stretched a bit by this advertisement, (i.e. you can’t actually see in the dark by eating carrots), consuming carrots can significantly help your vision. Among other nutrients, carrots provide us with beta-carotene which is converted by the body into Vitamin A. In fact, it has been scientifically proven that one-half cup of carrots can provide you with 73% of the daily need of Vitamin A.
Other nutrients are also helpful for your vision. Vitamin C foods are also necessary for reducing age-related macular degeneration. In addition to hereditary factors, smoking and diet can influence macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is considered the number one cause of vision loss. By definition, macular degeneration is the “deterioration of the central portion of the retina, [which is] the inside back layer of the eye that records the images we see and sends them via the optic nerve from the eye to the brain. The retina’s central portion, known as the macula, is responsible for focusing central vision in the eye, and it controls our ability to read, drive a car, recognize faces or colors, and see objects in fine detail.” [ https://www.macular.org/what-macular-degeneration].
For healthier eyes, try adding some of the following food sources to your diet:
Foods rich in antioxidants, beta-carotene and lutein:
Foods rich in Vitamin C:
ANNUAL EYE EXAM
An annual eye exam is recommended for everyone. This becomes much more important as you age; when you begin to have more rapid changes in your eyesight. Vision experts can help with the prescription changes needed in your eyewear as well as detect early onset of age-related eye diseases such as glaucoma and cataracts.
Like our skin, our eyes are also affected by the ultraviolet rays from the sun. To decrease your risk of macular degeneration from exposure to UV rays, wear sunglasses when you go outside. It has been proven that 10% of cataract cases are caused by exposure to UV rays. Besides, sunglasses are a great fashion statement. So, you can look “cool” with your sunglasses and stay healthy.
REST YOUR EYES
Above all, be sure to rest your eyes. Too much computer, tv or even your phone time can wear on your vision. The new rule is 20-20: 20 minutes of screen time, 20 seconds of rest. As an added suggestion, try looking at something 20 feet away during those 20 seconds of rest.
Call Missy Donaghy with Interiors for Seniors for a FREE consultation 321-279-3301.
Interiors for Seniors is proud to have been chosen as one of the top 100 moving blogs on the Internet.