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4 Ways to Protect Your Eyes As You Age

4 Ways to Protect Your Eyes As You Age

These easy tips will help you see better for longer.

In 2012, the actress Dame Judi Dench told the press her eyesight was failing and that she was unable to read her scripts. Her solution? Her daughter and agent would help her learn her lines. The problem? Dame Judy, now in her mid 80s, had been diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a common eye disorder that can cause blindness. By 2020, it’s estimated around three million older Americans will have to contend with this condition.

But AMD isn’t the only vision problem that can develop as you get older. The most common vision problems are glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and cataracts. More than six million Americans over age 65 have some type of vision problem. That’s why it’s important to take steps at every age to protect your eyes.

  • Eye-friendly foods are rich in nutrients such as beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, omega-3 fatty acids and zinc. So, eat plenty of orange vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots and squash, plus cooked tomatoes. Opt for dark leafy greens, berries, nuts and seeds, brown rice and citrus, which are also high in vitamins A, C, D and E. And enjoy fatty fish like ocean trout and salmon.
  • Quit smoking or never start. Smoking is linked to an increased risk of AMD, cataracts and optic nerve damage.
  • Use sunglasses. They should block out 99 to 100 percent of UV-A and UV-B radiation.
  • Don’t do digital damage. Break up computer and screen time. Try the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds.
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