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Keeping Your Eyes Healthy as You Age

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Aging is inevitable, but eye disease and vision loss don’t need to be.  There’s plenty you can do to keep your vision sharp and your eyes healthy — and the sooner you start, the better!  For instance, protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.  Wear one hundred percent UV-blocking sunglasses; wraparounds offer the best protection.  Wear sunglasses every time you step outside during daylight hours — rain or shine, year-round.  Shield your eyes from blue-light exposure.  If you work on a computer or are on digital devices fro several hours each day, blue-light-blocking computer glasses, filters, and apps are available to help.  If you smoke, quit.  What’s awful for your heart and lungs is awful for your eyes.  Smoking spikes the risk of all sorts of eye diseases and conditions.  Stay (or become) active.  For example, regular exercise can help lower high blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, and keep diabetes in check, all of which are beneficial to your eyes.  Studies have shown that sedentary people experience more vision loss as they age than active people.  Eat a healthy, balanced diet.  Include healthy fats (e.g., omega-03 fatty acids) and proteins, plenty of water, and five to nine servingvs daily of fruits and vegetables rich and varied in color.  Reduce the amount of sugar, refined grains (e.g., white bread, pasta, etc.), unhealthy fats, and processed foods from your diet.  Last but certainly not least, schedule regular eye exams to detect vison-threatening conditions before they cause any damage.  For some diseases, the first symptom is permanent vision impairment.

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