Vision Care: 11 Solid Strategies for Caring for Eyesight in Your Adult Years

In Canada, over 1 million people suffer from vision loss or blindness. Research shows that as much as 75% of this is preventable.

By learning more about adult vision care, you can prevent most vision loss.

It's never too early to take eye care seriously. Most vision loss doesn't happen overnight. It's due to a slow progression that results from a lack of understanding or vision care.

Let's explore how to care for your eyes as you age.

1. Eat a Balanced Diet

The food you eat becomes the building blocks of your body. If you're not providing your body with the nutrients that it needs, it will slowly decline as it replaces healthy cells with inferior ones.

All food groups are important, but when it comes to your eyes; fruits, dark leafy greens, vegetables, and fish are particularly essential to building healthy cells.

They provide your eyes with:

  • Antioxidants needed to fight free radicals that destroy cells
  • Omega-3 Fats that nerves need to relay messages
  • Fats that help your body better absorb nutrients
  • Amino acids that become the foundation for various eye muscles
  • Vitamins and minerals that your cells need to thrive

Proper vision care starts with nutrition.

2. Don't Smoke and Avoid Second-hand Smoke

For the smokers out there, we're going to ask you to think back for a moment. 

Do you remember when you were younger and smoke hurt your eyes? You had to close them or walk away, right? But as you continued to smoke or be around smokers, it got easier to endure the smoke. 

Today, it may not bother you at all.

Your eyes have been desensitized. But the smoke continues to damage your eyes. Dangerous chemicals settle on your eyes every time you light one up or allow others to do it around you.

This leads to macular degeneration and environmentally-caused cataracts.

3. Exercise Regularly

Poor circulation is strongly linked to vision loss. Blood transports oxygen and nutrients to your cells. It then carries toxins and byproducts away to be disposed of.

If you have poor circulation then blood isn't doing its job effectively. Eye cells become deprived and begin failing.

Exercising helps your circulatory system run optimally to protect your vision.

4. Invest in Quality Sun Protection

Sunglasses aren't to make you look good. They're supposed to protect your eyes.

UVA and UVB light from the sun will slowly damage the eyes even if you never look directly at it. Sunglasses should protect your eyes from close to 100% UVA and UVA. It should be written right there on the label.

If it isn't, look elsewhere.

Start a healthy habit of always wearing sunglasses, even on cloudy days. Yes, UV light can travel through clouds.

If you're spending a day on the water, be extra careful. You can sunburn your eyes by absorbing the UV that bounces off the water's surface.

Add a hat to the mix for even greater protection.

5. Wear Projectile Protection During Certain Activities

If you're working in construction, mowing your lawn, sawing down a tree or engaging in a host of other activities, you're exposing your eyes to projectiles.

When the chance of projectiles is high, wear protection.

6. Reduce Screen Time

Screens and some LED and CFL lights produce blue light. This shorter wavelength light can damage your retinas over time. This can lead to environmental and age-related macular degeneration.

Balance screen time with other activities. You may also want to consider glasses that help reduce blue light that reaches your eyes. 

7. Sit Up and Away from the Screen

When working on a computer or other device, maintain a healthy posture and avoid slumping toward the screen.

In addition to the blue light, you will further strain your eyes by sitting too close.

8. Avoid Exposure to Harsh Chemicals

Maybe you're not a smoker, but you use chlorine or other chemicals with harsh vapors to clean. You could be damaging your eyes.

Proper vision care and lung care includes:

  • Keeping the room well-ventilated
  • Limited exposure time
  • Not getting too close to the chemicals
  • Wearing snug goggles for prolonged exposure

9. Balance Near Vision Time With Distance Vision Time

Have you ever heard the saying "use it or lose it"? It's often applied to speaking multiple languages or utilizing other skills.

Your vision is a use it or lose it skill as well. If you rarely use your distance vision, your body begins to think you don't need it. You may become myopic (near-sighted).

The inverse is also true.

If you spend a lot of time staring at a screen close up, balance it with a walk as you look off at the trees in the distance. If you're working, periodically look across the room.

When you do this you keep the eye muscles that adjust between near and far sight stronger.

Try some reps. It's like push-ups for your eyes.

10. Rest Your Eyes

Along the same lines as number 9, rest your eyes.

If they feel dry and strained, close them. If you've been looking at a computer screen for a while get up and walk around to give them a change of scenery.

11. Get Regular Eye Exams

Only about 1/3 of Canadians get their eyes checked within a 5 year period. The percent who rarely or never get their eyes checked is staggering.

As a result, the number of people suffering from vision loss in Canada is rapidly increasing. By 2036, experts believe that rates will double. But you and your family don't have to be among them.

Most vision loss is preventable. Getting an annual eye exam can:

  • Give insight into the current state of your vision
  • Allow for early detection of eye problems
  • Slow the progression of vision-related diseases through treatment
  • Help you better understand what you can do to protect your eyes

Vision Care for Better Quality of Life

Your vision isn't a luxury and it's not something to take lightly. Losing your vision can significantly reduce the quality of your life. But protecting your vision is easy with these 11 strategies.

How long has it been since you had a vision care exam? If it's been over a year, it's time to schedule an appointment with us.