Aging is the natural process that we cannot avoid. At some point, we will all notice a few more lines and wrinkles; a few more aches and pains. Another thing that we may notice is that we cannot read street signs as easily as we once did, or that we have difficulty reading books and magazines. One of the significant discoveries related to aging has been that we have a certain amount of power in our own journey. This is good news because it helps us maintain more control over our health and vitality.
Our eyes age right along with the rest of the body, which means that they can also age prematurely under certain circumstances. Here are a few of the habits that may be causing your eyes to age before their time.
- Not hydrating. Hydration is key to numerous bodily functions because the average adult body is 60% water. When there is not enough water to go around, it may become difficult for the eyes to produce the amount of tears needed for surface moisture. The resulting dry eye syndrome can create chronic irritation and puffiness.
- Not sleeping enough. Sleep is necessary in order for the various body systems to renew their energy and stores. Lack of sleep has been linked to eye spasms, dry eye disease, and even to popped blood vessels that result from chronic eye strain. Treat your eyes – and your body – to at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night.
- Not eating right. Most of us are far too busy these days. This can make it difficult to eat as good as we know we should. Lack of key nutrients, such as omega fatty acids, vitamin A, and carotenoids can lead to age-related vision problems such as macular degeneration. So load up on healthy fats and fresh fruits and vegetables to protect your long-term vision.
- Smoking. A smoking habit puts you at risk for a number of serious health conditions. It also puts you at a 4-times higher risk for blindness later in life. Protect your eyes from macular degeneration, cataracts, and other conditions; don’t smoke.
Healthy eye-care habits include eating well, protecting eyes from UV damage, and seeing your eye doctor regularly. To schedule your eye exam, call Aloha Eye Clinic in Kihei or Wailuku.