You've heard it said that people fear public speaking above all else. Of course, that isn't true. What you will likely agree with though, is that for decades, fear of vision loss has topped the list in Americans' minds for scary health conditions. And with good reason.
Eyesight problems affect every part of life, including work, autonomy, recreation, and even relationships.
That's why it's important to protect your vision as you age. Here are 5 ways you can take control of your eyesight's future today.
- Know the symptoms of common age-related vision problems. As you age, you could encounter a vision-threatening condition but there are some things you can do to to avoid or delay the onset of these conditions.
What will usually determine your eyesight's future is whether it's caught and treated early.
So be ready. Read up on the top 5 most common age-related diseases and their symptoms, and watch for them (literally). Subscribe to blogs like this one so that you regularly receive information automatically and don't have to remember to go searching for it. Make vision-related educational material part of your regular media consumption.
- Make regular checkups a priority. Long before you notice any symptoms, your doctor will usually be able to catch cellular deterioration with an eye exam. An extra benefit is his ability to detect seemingly unrelated diseases like diabetes.
- Know your family history. Thanks to the National Eye Institute, some of the genes identified as "strongly related" to age-related macular degeneration have been identified. If your parents had it, or any other eye problems, tell your doctor. He/she knows exactly what to do with this, and other medical history information. You may need to be seen more frequently to protect your vision as you age.
- Use protective eyewear. Injuries from objects, chemicals and radiation are not age-related, but of course the longer you live, the higher your chance for a mishap. So be smart. Don safety goggles when working outside or with heavy machinery and chemicals. Invest in sunglasses that block UV rays, and enjoy your favorite sports with protective eyewear.
- Improve your diet. Adding more leafy greens and omega 3's to your diet will do wonders for your health, and especially your vision. According to the NEH, important nutrients like Vitamin A do their jobs as antioxidants in the eye, absorbing light waves that would otherwise potentially damage the eye. As if that weren't neat enough, the NEI also says that omega-3 fatty acids have shown to promote the development and repair of retinal tissue in prior studies.
You Can't Can Handle The Truth
Fear is a powerful motivator. While it would be best to protect your vision out of a sense of responsibility and appreciation, sometimes that just doesn't happen. In those cases, a minor spook is all it takes to shape up daily habits to preserve ocular wellness. Whether it's a statistic you read, flashes of light or floaters in your own field of vision, or the scary diagnosis of a loved one, eventually everyone will recognize the personal link between their age and eye health. Instead of waiting, be proactive now.
Over 70 percent of people over age 70 have less than 20/20 vision, and that's because most eye disorders are classified as "age-related." That means as you age, most conditions are not a surprise to your doctor. In fact, he expects them.
Would you like to talk to someone here at Woodhams about an annual exam? Enter your information below and one of our patient care advocates will reach out to you or you can call us at 770-394-4000.
Image Source: Bethany Johnson