Cataracts and Protecting Your Eyes As You Age
You probably know friends or relatives that have undergone cataract surgery. It seems to be a common thing as we age. Statistics show that half of those over 75 have impaired vision due to clouding of the lens in one or both eyes, known as cataracts. That statistic jumps to 70 percent by age 85.
A survey done by AARP shows only 37 percent of those polled knew that vision loss is not “inevitable” as we age. Following a few simple rules can help you continue to see clearly. And, these tips can help cut the risk of vision problems down the road and hopefully cataracts.
What To Do to Protect Your Eyes
- Eye exams. Have your eyes checked regularly by an eye care professional i.e. ophthalmologist or optometrist. A baseline at 40 and then at 65 and older a screening every one to two years.
- Stop smoking. This is the most important thing to do not just for your general health but for your eyes also.
- Avoid the sun. Daily UV exposure ups your chances of getting cataracts. Sunglasses are very important to protect your eyes from the sun’s rays. Brown and rose-colored lens increase visual contrast. Adding transitions to a new prescription may help ensure you are being protected on a regular basis.
- Ditch old mascara. If you are a woman who wears mascara, it’s recommended you get a new tube every 3-4 months to help avoid infections.
- Rest your eyes. Regular sleep is important for eye health. A 2019 study showed a link between sleep and glaucoma for those with less than 3 hours of sleep and more than 10. And staring at a computer for long periods of time causes eyestrain. Look up from your computer every 20 minutes and look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. 20-20-20 rule.
- Eat well. The evidence of carrots as vision-boosting is mixed. However, eye experts agree that leafy greens such as spinach, kale and collard greens are helpful. These vegetables are loaded with lutein and zeaxanthin. These may help protect our eyes by filtering out damaging wavelengths that can negatively impact our retinas.
Find out more about protecting your eyes by taking the AARP quiz. https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2022/eye-protection-quiz.html