When we think about aging, we may think of just about anything but our vision. We worry over the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, or feel concerned about chronic aches and pains. These are understandably unpleasant changes that seem to characterize the aging process. Fortunately, healthy lifestyle habits and, when necessary, focused medical care, can resolve many of the physical effects of aging. This also applies to maintaining healthy peepers. Are you inadvertently aging your eyes with any of these habits?
- Rubbing. You’re tired. You have a scratchy feeling. What do you do? Chances are, you rub your eyes. Because the skin on the upper and lower eyelids is so delicate, this habit could be exacerbating the already inevitable development of lines and wrinkles. These concerns may be minimized with Botox and other cosmetic treatments, but it is beneficial to avoid rubbing.
- Sunning. Even if you don’t consider yourself a sun worshiper, your sun habits are affecting your eyes. Exposure to UV rays has been found to break down collagen in the skin, which leads to problems like crow’s feet. Also, UV exposure can actually cause a sunburn in your eyes. Excessive exposure is linked to pterygium, macular degeneration, and cataracts. Protect your eyes with appropriate sunglasses that block UVA, UVB, and HEV rays, even on cloudy days.
- Smoking. Research has discovered that smokers are at a quadrupled risk for blindness. Smoking is a factor in the development of dry eyes, uveitis, macular degeneration, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy. The risk to eyesight is just one more reason to stop smoking.
- Poor eating habits. Fast food and processed foods are, well, they are convenient if nothing else; and they rarely are anything more than that. In order for the eyes and other organs to function optimally, they need nutrients that are found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fish that have ample omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, along with other macro and micronutrients.
- Poor sleep habits. It is during our sleeping hours when the body regenerates. When you do not sleep enough, you risk premature aging such as dark circles, bag, bloodshot eyes, and also may experience dry eye disease, blurred vision, and eye twitching.
There are so many ways in which our eyes and our vision are affected; both positively and negatively. Good habits, which also include routine eye exams, will reward you with clearer vision for more of your life. Contact us to schedule your eye exam.