Looking after your eye sight
The senses often become blunted with age. Changes tend to take place very
gradually. If you experience a sudden change in your ability to see or hear,
consult a doctor as it may be a sign of underlying illness.
The eyes undergo a
number of changes as you grow older. The lens becomes more opaque and loses its
flexibility, the iris becomes sluggish, the retina can become less sensitive to
light, and a condition called
glaucoma Ė in which
pressure builds up inside the eye Ė becomes more likely. On average, the eye of
a 60-year-old person lets in half as much light as a younger personís. The most
common type of age-related vision change is long-sightedness.
Warning signs of eye problems are as follows:
difficulty seeing objects close-up (this may be caused by
hazy vision, a blur around lights and the sensation of looking through fog
(this may be caused by cataracts)
loss of peripheral vision, flashes of light and floating shapes (this may be
caused by retinal detachment)
rapid or gradual vision loss and distorted vision when reading (this may be
caused by macular degeneration)
blurred vision, sudden and severe eye pain, teary, aching eyes, halos around
lights, headache, nausea and vomiting (this may be caused by
You should have your eyesight tested yearly as you get older, and consult your
doctor or ophthalmologist about any changes in your vision. The treatment for
eye problems ranges from reading glasses for long- sightedness to surgery for
cataracts. If you have adult-onset
you should be particularly vigilant about having regular
eye checks Ė
diabetes is one of the main causes of blindness.
Try to protect your eyes as a much as possible by:
Avoid working in poor light- The eye often finds it
hard to focus in dimly lit conditions, which can be a cause of eye strain for
someone reading in these conditions. People also tend to blink less while
reading in dim light, which can result in a
of the eye which
feels unpleasant. People who do a lot of reading at night often probably
notice these problems, and try to counteract them by creating a well lit space
with no glare for the purpose of reading at night in comfort.
Avoid spending hours in front of a
Hours in front of a computer screen may increase the risk of glaucoma in
people who are myopic
or shortsighted. Aching, irritable eyes is a common complaint after
maintaining a visual distance constant for much of the day in front of the
computer, this means the muscles that control your focal lens have become
Learning some basic Bates method exercises- This is an alternative
eye therapy based on the understanding that most vision problems are caused by
tension of the muscles surrounding the eyeball.
Eating a healthy diet- There are many
found in fruit and vegetables which are good for the eyes. Include
Zeaxanthin, Meso-zeaxanthin, Co-enzyme Q10, Bilberry, Blueberry in your
diet. Some of these nutrients are found in green, leafy vegetables
such as spinach and broccoli, collard greens, brussel sprouts, swiss chards as
well as egg yolks. According to them, A study published in June 2009 found
that individuals drinking a large glass of blueberry juice each day were able
to recover far more quickly from light-induced damage than those who were not.
It is also important to eat oily fish as it supplies the body with DHA and
omega-3 fatty acids. These help provide structural support to cell
membranes in the eye. Sardines, mackerel and tuna are recommended for people
with dry eye, age-related macular degeneration and also for everyone to help
preserve good eyesight for longer.
Taking regular exercise to increase the blood supply to the eyes-
Getting plenty of exercise will benefit your eyesight as it increases the
amount of oxygen in the eye. Exercise can help the supply of oxygen to the
optic nerve and can help to lower pressure in the eye. Reducing pressure in
the eye is important to control conditions such as glaucoma and ocular
hypertension. Exercise such as
can also help to control the progression of
diabetes which can
lead to diabetic retinopathy. It is recommended to spend at least 30 minutes a
day five times a week exercising. However, always check with your GP before
you embark on any new exercise
Drink plenty of water on a daily basis. Water is essential for the whole
body to function properly and that includes your eyes. If you do not drink
enough water you may become dehydrated which can lead to dry, sore and
irritated eyes. It is advisable to drink at least 1.5 litres of water a day
and more if you are doing a lot of exercise or if the weather is hot.
have a catastrophic effect on eye health, causing inflammation, retinopathy,
optic nerve damage, dry eye and cataracts. Give up for optimal health
Wear sunglasses in bright light- Exposing your eyes to too much of the
sunís UV rays
is one of the most damaging threats to their long-term good health. Itís worth
spending a little extra on good quality
with a high level of UV protection in the lenses.
Splash the eyes with warm water 10 times and then cold water 10 times to
increase blood circulation to the eyes.
Twice a day, rest your elbows on a table and cup your hands over your
eyes. Allow yourself to relax for 10 minutes. If you do a lot of close up
or computer work try to do this for one minute on a regular basis.
Try not to stare rigidly at any object for a long period of time. Every
five minutes look away briefly and focus on something else for a few
To strengthen the eye muscles, hold one index finger 10cm/4in in front
of your eyes, and place the other index finger at armís length behind it.
Focus with both eyes on the nearest finger for a few seconds, blink, and
then focus on the distant finger. Repeat this exercise 10 times, blinking
between each change of focus to lubricate and clean the eyes.
It is important to look after your eyesight to prevent your vision
deteriorating and to prevent the development of eye diseases.