The Eyes Have It: 8 Tips for Senior Eye Care

While changes with your eyes are inevitable as you age, with a few simple steps you can help maintain the best eyesight possible.

Here are eight tips you can use to insure good eye health as you age.

1) Annual Eye Exam

The National Institute on Aging recommends that people over the age of 60 have eye exams yearly. Seeing an eye doctor annually is important as you age, even if you don't have any change in your vision.

A thorough eye exam will look for signs of cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration─common problems for older eyes. Catching these issues early helps preserve your vision.

2) Eating Well for Eye Health

Diet is important for eye health. Choose foods rich in vitamins A and C, such as leafy, green vegetables and fish. Fish also contains essential omega─3 fatty acids that are important to the health of the macula, the part of the eye responsible for central vision.

Sweet potatoes, flax seeds, eggs, citrus fruits, and nuts are also good choices for an eye-healthy diet.

3) Computer Screen Stress

Do you look at a computer screen more than two hours a day? If you do, you're causing strain on your eye muscles. To reduce the stress on your eyes, take a break every 15 minutes to focus on a distant object, keep the computer screen within 20 - 24" of your eyes, adjust lighting to minimize glare on the screen, and remember to blink frequently.

4) Shield your eyes from the sun 

Sunlight is fabulous and we love being in it, but it does damage your eyes. Go ahead and enjoy the sun, but protect your eyes with sunglasses that block UV rays. A hat can keep sunlight from getting in around your sunglasses, too.

5) Use good lighting

To see well, your eyes need three times as much light when you're 60 as they did when you were 20. Make sure you have good lighting, especially when reading. Position the light so that it isn't reflected by the page and causing glare.

6) Supplements

Over-the-counter vitamin supplements have been developed for eyes. They are made to help fight macular degeneration and to maintain eye health.

7) If you smoke, stop!

This one may be on every health-related article ever written. Along with many other problems, smoking increases your risk of developing a number of conditions that damage eye health.

8) Exercise, of course

Another one that's on every healthy-lifestyle list: exercise. But you may be surprised to learn that exercise even helps your eyes. Exercise increases blood circulation to the small blood vessels in your eyes, improves oxygen level to your eyes, and helps remove toxins.

If that's not motivation enough, studies have shown that regular exercise can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration by as much as 70 percent!

Take Care of Those Baby Blues (or Gorgeous Greens or Beautiful Browns)

Your eyes can't be the same as they were in your 20's. But with a few simple precautions, you can greatly increase your chances of maintaining good eyesight!