We all need a little vision these days – Tips to keeping your aging eyes on bright side

We all need a little vision these days – Tips to keeping your aging eyes on bright side

I went to the optometrist today. Happy to report nothing too dramatic is going on, other than the need for bifocals.

When we are young, for most of us, the lenses of our eyes bend. This allows light to focus onto the retina so that we can see objects both near and far. As we age, this capacity decreases. Typically, we need to hold things farther away to focus. The muscles that control our pupils, which widen and constrict to allow light in, weaken so we often require more light to see clearly.

If our lenses become cloudy, we have cataracts. 50% of people over 75 years old get cataracts. Many serious issues affect the aging eye—detached retina, glaucoma, macular degeneration—and many chronic health issues will affect vision.

Just like the rest of our bodies, there are ways we can slow down the aging process of our eyes.

If you are on the computer or your phone for long stretches of the day, set a timer. Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. You can also download a “Tibetan Eye Chart” which will lead your eyes on a series of exercises to stretch and maintain and, many claim, improve vision.

A diet low in sugar, high in brightly colored fruits and vegetables and dark leafy greens is rich in antioxidants. Cataracts are caused by oxidative damage to the lens. Excessive sugar deposits on the retina, the nerves, the blood vessel, the kidneys, causing reduced function in these tissues which will affect your vision as well.

  • Quit smoking.
  • Exercise.
  • Wear sunglasses.

I discovered that if I drink a large glass of water, first thing in the morning, the dryness in my eyes goes away. Fish oil supplements also help lubricate the eyes.

Spend time in nature, looking far out onto the horizon. A mountain top, a cliff over the ocean are perfect places to stretch your vision. Then, look at something close up. Focus on the minute – a leaf, a seashell, a rock, then again – outward and back, changing perspective.

We all need a little vision these days. Let’s do what we can to support our eyes.

Dr. Jennifer Means welcomes you for Primary Care for the whole family: Nutrition, IV Therapy, Naturopathy, and Acupuncture. Contact us at 503-641-6400.