Vision Sight Changes As We Age
Foods to help protect your vision. Our eyes change so much that you probably won’t even remember what your young eyes used to be like. However, ageing eyes are normal eyes, but it isn’t always easy to know what’s normal, And what isn’t normal when it comes to ageing. Some vision changes as you age are expected; many can be prevented. But is it normal to have blurred vision? Is it normal to develop light sensitivity? Here, you can discover which ageing eye problems are normal and cause for concern.
Foods to help protect your vision. Presbyopia is one of the ageing eye problems no one can escape. Just like ageing itself, presbyopia will affect everyone at some point. It isn’t a dangerous vision condition, meaning it won’t damage your eyes. But, it will have you longing for your young eyes back.
Presbyopia is the natural hardening of the lens of the eye. As we age, we begin to lose the flexibility of the lens. So then. this means that our eyes have more difficulty focusing, especially on objects near the eye. Besides, normally, presbyopia is treated with reading glasses and contact lenses.
Presbyopia seems to take effect after the age of 40. Suppose you’re over 40 and notice that you’re having trouble focusing or that your prescription no longer corrects your vision. Hence, you may have presbyopia.
Talk to your doctor about getting the right prescription for you. It would help if you also looked into natural ways to rebuild your vision. Luckily, there are various things you can do to prevent and improve presbyopia as you age.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
Similarly, like presbyopia, AMD is not one of the ageing eye problems that can be fended off. It will eventually affect everyone of a certain age. However, it is possible to delay and slow down the disease before it claims your vision.
AMD refers to the natural ageing of the macula, which is the most sensitive part of the retina. As the macula ages, it slowly diminishes and can gravely affect a person’s central vision. However, the disease is most commonly brought on by age but can also result from an eye injury.
AMD can slowly progress over a long period of time, but it can also progress quickly and cause blank spots in your central vision. Furthermore, this disease will not lead to complete blindness. Consequently, left untreated, it will progress to a later stage. So then, you won’t have enough vision to do regular daily activities like reading, driving, or seeing faces.
Early stages of AMD often develop with no symptoms at all, which is why you need a comprehensive eye exam to diagnose the disease properly. Otherwise, later stages of the disease will result in diminished central vision. In the meantime, pay attention to your diet in order to ward off AMD.
Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eye is a condition that is extremely common as we age. As your vision changes as you age, your body loses the ability to produce enough moisture. That includes the body is not producing enough tears for the eyes. Insufficient tears are produced, and they evaporate more quickly, leaving the eyes feeling dry and uncomfortable. In this case, dry eyes can make working on the computer or reading very difficult. Consequently, they can also lead to a stinging or burning sensation.
As a rule, dry eye syndrome is often treated with artificial eye drops that act as tears for the eyes. And though this is a good option for some quick relief. Especially if you’ve spent all day in front of a computer, omega-3s can provide a more substantial solution.
Omega-3 helps natural tear production; you can find them in eggs, salmon, flaxseeds, and fish oil supplements. Also, as a bonus, omega-3 can help prevent age-related eye diseases like AMD. In some cases, getting a healthy diet including omega-3 can actually help to rebuild your vision.
Loss of Muscle Strength in the Eye
A common effect of vision changes as you age is eye muscle weakness. It can affect how quickly our pupils respond to light when this happens.
This weakness causes the pupil to reduce in size and becomes slower to react to different types of lighting. Many older adults have difficulty seeing in or are sensitive to bright lights. Hence, the pupil won’t dilate to allow the right amount of light into the eye. Also, for this, you can add an anti-reflective coating to eyewear. So then, this will help the eye adjust to its surroundings quicker without any hassle. Also, you can prevent some muscle weakness by doing eye exercises and stretches. However, they won’t entirely rebuild your vision, but they can help. Diminished Peripheral Vision
Our peripheral vision diminishes by approximately one to three degrees every decade as we age. It may not seem like much, but by the time most of us reach the age of 70, our peripheral vision will have lost 20 to 30 degrees visibility.
This is especially dangerous when driving. Suppose you’re still driving at the age of 70; kudos to you, first of all. But, also be careful to really check those blind spots. Or, you can buy extra mirrors that attach to the ones already on the car to extend your field of vision.
Abnormal Aging Vision
Now you know what to expect from vision changes as you age. But what isn’t normal? What ageing eye problems should you look for to prevent more serious age-related vision conditions?
- Floaters and flashes: Some floaters and flashes are normal in your vision. They’re just shadows of things that are floating around in the fluid of the eye and it’s really no big deal. However, if you notice a higher number of floaters than usual and frequent flashing in your vision, this could be a sign of a detached retina. Talk to your eye doctor immediately.
- Sudden loss of peripheral vision: This one may be a little confusing. As, a gradual loss of your peripheral vision is a normal part of aging. But if it happens suddenly it may have been caused by glaucoma. Have your eye doctor perform a comprehensive glaucoma exam so that you can diagnose the disease and begin treating it as soon as possible. Glaucoma can lead to blindness and isn’t one of the normal aging eye problems.
- Gray in the pupil of the eye: If you wake up one morning and notice that there’s a bit of gray in the pupil of your eye (which should normally be black), then you may be developing a cataract. Cataracts form on the lens of the eye and can blur and cloud your vision. The proper corrective eyewear and diet can help to alleviate the symptoms of the disease.
Protecting Your Vision
Foods to help protect your vision. When it comes to protecting your vision, what you eat may affect what you see. Certain vitamins and minerals found in food may prevent two common causes of vision problems. Firstly, cataracts cloudy areas in the lens of the eye. Secondly, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a condition that causes vision loss in the macula. And the part of the eye that controls central vision. However, while there is no definite proof, some studies suggest that eating a diet rich in certain nutrients may help.
Nutrients to consider
Foods to help protect your vision. Some evidence shows dietary antioxidant vitamins and minerals (A, C, and E, and the mineral zinc). Also, it may help prevent the progression of macular degeneration. Besides, the retina, especially the macula, is thought to be an environment of high oxidative stress. And means an abundance of free radicals—molecules that damage proteins and DNA within cells. So then, antioxidants fight free radicals and are thought to help protect the retina from this damage.”
Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids found in the retina. And dietary intake of these compounds has been shown to have antioxidant properties. Also, to improve pigment density in the macula. This pigment protects the cells in the macular area by absorbing excess blue and ultraviolet light and neutralizing free radicals. Lutein and zeaxanthin are usually found together in food. In addition, dietary intake of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) may be important to retinal health. DHA is present in high concentrations in the outer segments of retinal photoreceptors” “Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, and there is evidence to suggest that inflammation plays a role in AMD.”
Finding The Nutrients
Foods to help protect your vision. In most fruits and vegetables, you’ll find lutein and zeaxanthin, especially yellow and orange varieties and leafy greens. Egg yolks are an even richer source of these nutrients. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in coldwater fish, flaxseed, and walnuts. Good sources of zinc include red meat and shellfish. You’ll find vitamins A, C, and E in many vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds.
Research hasn’t proved how much of these nutrients we need to help prevent eye problems, but doctors suggest following a heart-healthy diet with fish at least twice a week and at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
Best food sources of eye-healthy nutrients
|Lutein, zeaxanthin||Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, corn, eggs, kale, nectarines, oranges, papayas, romaine lettuce, spinach, squash|
|Omega-3 fatty acids||Flaxseed, flaxseed oil, halibut, salmon, sardines, tuna, walnuts|
|Vitamin A||Apricots, cantaloupe (raw), carrots, mangos, red peppers (raw), ricotta cheese (part-skim), spinach, sweet potatoes|
|Vitamin C||Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, grapefruit, kiwi, oranges, red peppers (raw), strawberries|
|Vitamin E||Almonds, broccoli, peanut butter, spinach, sunflower seeds, wheat germ|
|Zinc||Chickpeas, oysters, pork chops, red meat, yoghurt|
Your eyes are the most important sense you have; without vision, your world is darkness. So, now you have an idea of how to eat to help protect your vision. I, for one, will be following this advice closely. I am sure you will too.
Important Note *
Remember that everyone is different, and it is ultimately YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to find what your body responds to. So please do your due diligence before trying anything new, including getting Medical Advice to ensure your safety and peace of mind.
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