Aging-related vision loss and other eye disorders can make even simple tasks challenging. The good news is that there are several strategies we may employ to prevent these concerns. In addition to discussing some of the most recent and innovative procedures and therapies for aging eyes, this article will also go over some of the most fundamental modifications that can be made to one’s daily routine to ensure that their eyes remain healthy long into old age.
A balanced, nutritious diet is the key to maintaining healthy eyes and lowering your chance of developing vision problems. Foods rich in antioxidant vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients may help protect against serious eye diseases.
Many pieces of research have proven that several foods are especially helpful for maintaining healthy eyes. Eat more of the following things:
- Leafy Greens: Spinach, kale, and other leafy greens are rich in antioxidants and lutein, and zeaxanthin, which aid in preventing age-related eye damage. Romaine lettuce, collards, turnip greens, broccoli and peas. Some of the common leafy greens that contain sufficient amounts of Lutein and Zeaxanthin are as follows,
|Kale||11.4 mg||1.4 mg|
|Spinach||3.7 mg||0.4 mg|
|Swiss Chard||3.2 mg||0.5 mg|
|Romaine Lettuce||2.1 mg||0.1 mg|
2. Colorful Fruits and Vegetables: Oranges, berries, carrots, and bell peppers are colorful fruits and vegetables that contain vitamins A, C, and E, along with flavonoids, and are beneficial for eye health.
Lycopene, a carotenoid found in papaya, is thought to reduce the risk of developing cataracts.
Eating various fruits and vegetables provides your body with a rainbow of nutrients. Remember that most nutrients are retained if you eat them raw or mildly cooked.
3. Eggs: Eggs from poultry on a nutrient-rich diet are another excellent source of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin and also contain Vitamin A and zinc. Fortified eggs have more lutein and zeaxanthin than regular eggs, and the body absorbs them better. It indicates that eating such eggs consistently helps maintain adequate lutein and zeaxanthin levels, which are essential for optimal vision. One large egg contains the following nutrients.
|Lutein and Zeaxanthin||Vitamin A||Vitamin E||Zinc|
|Egg||0.2-0.3 milligrams||80-100 micrograms||0.5 milligrams||0.5-0.6 milligrams|
Also, a 2020 research published in Clinical Nutrition reported that compared to patients who ingested one egg or fewer per week, those who consumed four to six eggs per week over a 15-year period had a 46% lower chance of experiencing significant eyesight loss.
4. Fish: Salmon, tuna, and sardines are exceptional sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which prevent irritated eyes and promote overall eye health. The AHA recommends 250–500 mg of EPA+DHA daily for healthy people. Some of the leading seafood that contains ample amounts of omega3 fatty acids are,
|Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)||Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)|
|Salmon||0.6-1.8 g||0.6-1.6 g|
|Sardines||0.4 g||1.5 g|
|Mackerel||0.2-1 g||0.4 -1.5 g|
|Tuna||0.2 g||0.2 g|
5. Almonds: Almonds are an excellent vitamin E source, essential in maintaining healthy eyes and other tissues. About 23 dry-roasted almonds (one ounce) meet 45% of your daily nutrient requirements. Almonds’ Other nutrients are omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and flavonoids.
Sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, peanut butter, and avocados are excellent alternatives.
6. Dairy: The eyes may benefit from consuming dairy products like milk and yogurt. They’re a good source of zinc and vitamin A. The cornea is protected by vitamin A, which is transported to the eyes by zinc. The retina and the choroid (the circulatory tissue directly under the retina) have high zinc concentrations, although the mineral may be found throughout the eye.
Hydration And Moisture.
The eyes get their nutrition most effectively when the body is properly hydrated. Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are essential for healthy eye function. Consuming adequate water aids in delivering these nutrients, which benefits eye health. Studies have shown that dehydration is a leading cause of dry eyes.
You can also use artificial tears or lubricating eye drops if your eyes are dry or uneasy.
Follow the below advice to maintain the moisture in your eyes and avoid eye problems:
- Blink frequently, mainly when using mobile phones, computers, or television. Additionally, it is recommended to take breaks every hour from digital displays to prevent dry eyes.
- Use a humidifier to maintain air moisture in your homes during dry seasons such as autumn and winter.
- Avoid cigarette smoke, as it tends to dry out eyes.
- Wear sunglasses to shield your eyes from wind and ultraviolet light.
- Consume 8 to 10 containers of water per day to hydrate your eyes and body.
- Reduce the temperature because hot rooms can cause tired eyes.
Manage Digital Eye Strain
Eye strain and discomfort can result from prolonged use of digital devices. To minimize digital eye strain follow the given guideline by the University of Rochester:
- Take frequent breaks and follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, gaze away from the screen for 20 seconds, and concentrate on an object at least 20 feet distant.
- Adjust the luminance and contrast of the screen to a comfortable level.
- Position the screen at the appropriate distance and angle to reduce eye irritation.
- Consider using blue light filters or blue light-blocking eyewear to reduce exposure to potentially hazardous blue light emitted by electronic devices.
Managing digital eye strain and fostering healthy eyesight is possible with the help of the aforementioned practices.
Protecting Your Eyes
The use of eye protection is essential for preventing damage to your eyes. Sports and Household chores around the house both have the potential to cause eye damage if proper precautions aren’t used. That is why experts suggest wearing sunglasses with 100 percent UV protection should be worn outside to protect your eyes from the sun’s rays.
Taking these measures is essential for protecting and preserving one’s eyesight.
The pressure on your eyes can be reduced, and your eye muscles strengthened with easy eye exercises.
Regular eye exercises are highly recommended to enhance and preserve your eye health. They can strengthen the eye muscles, decrease dryness, and relieve pressure on the eyes. Incorporating regular eye exercises into your routine may significantly impact whether you spend long hours working on a computer or want to maintain your eyes in excellent repair.
Palming is a simple exercise that relieves eye stress and promotes calm.
- While seated comfortably, actively massage your palms together until they feel warm.
- Close your eyes and place your warm palms over them in a gentle manner.
- Relax your mind and take deep breaths as you let the warmth and darkness soothe your eyes.
- Maintaining this position for several minutes or until your eyes feel refreshed is recommended.
Blinking exercises can aid in lubricating the eyes, reducing irritation, as well as improving focus.
- Relax in a seated or standing position.
- Slowly and softly blink your eyes 10 times in order.
- Close your eyes and rest them for a few seconds after blinking.
- Repeat this exercise multiple times throughout the day, particularly when your eyes feel dehydrated or fatigued.
The Figure Eight Exercise
The Figure eight exercises improve eye flexibility and coordination in movement.
- Imagine a large infinity sign (figure eight) approximately 10 feet above you.
- Trace the figure-eight pattern with your eyes using a steady, slow motion.
- Follow the imaginary path of Figure eight in different directions for multiple repetitions.
- Take deep breaths and remain calm throughout the entire exercise.
Including regular eye exercises in your regimen will help you maintain healthy, powerful eyes. Always keep up with your routine and pay close attention to your eyes while you perform these exercises.
Massaging the Acupressure Points
Traditional Chinese medicine recommends massaging these six acupoints to increase blood flow to the area around the eyes to help get rid of dark circles and reduce eye strain. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine studied 33 glaucoma patients to see if acupressure might lower intraocular pressure.
To perform the acupressure massage, apply light pressure and massage from your knuckles clockwise into these pressure points. Repeat this 20-30 times.
- Yuyao point: Middle of eyebrows.
- Cuanzhu point: Inner end of eyebrows.
- Qingming Point: Above the inner corner of the eye and on the bridge of the nose.
- Yintang Point: Center point between the eyebrows.
- Tongziliao Point: Depression at the eye’s outer corner.
- Sibai point: Below the pupil, approximately one fingertip width from the eye socket.
Talk to your eye doctor about any issues you’re having with your eyes or your eyesight. Share information about your health status and any family history of eye disease. Tell your eye doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter drugs you use.
Specific Nutrients for Better Eye Aging.
Like many foods that can help with eye health, many nutrients have been researched well to promote their use for better aging of the eye and vision.
A lower risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts has been linked to using “eye-friendly nutrients” such as lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamins C, E, and zinc. Many other have been studied which are discussed as follow,
Anthocyanins: According to research, anthocyanins may enhance night vision and reduce the risk of cataracts and AMD. They are present in grapes, blueberries, and bilberries.
There has been no set limit or RDA for anthocyanins, but the 2007-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) estimated that 20-year-olds consumed 11.6 1.1 mg of anthocyanins daily.
Numerous studies have demonstrated that lutein and zeaxanthin lower the danger of developing chronic eye conditions. Those with the highest intakes of lutein and zeaxanthin were found to have the lowest rates of new cataract formation.
There is no established RDA for lutein and for maximum health advantages, experts recommend taking 6 mg of lutein. Another best source can be having it via foods such as dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, maize, peas, persimmons, and tangerines.
Together with lutein, zeaxanthin is highly concentrated in the macula, where it is thought to protect the retina from light damage by acting as a natural filter against blue light and oxidative stress. The antioxidant properties of zeaxanthin are also speculated to have a function in protecting the eyes.
Two types of zeaxanthin exist RR-zeaxanthin and RS (meso)-zeaxanthin. RS (meso)-zeaxanthin is a synthetic form of the naturally occurring RR-zeaxanthin in food. Meso-zeaxanthin is an antioxidant that protects the macula and plays a key function in eye health, as told earlier.
Like Lutien, it is also generally recommended to be taken around 6 mg to reap the benefits.
Zinc is essential for producing melanin, a protective pigment in the eyes, by transporting vitamin A from the liver to the retina. Zinc deficiency has been related to vision problems such as blurry cataracts and trouble seeing in the dark.
RDA of Zinc is around 8-11 mg for an adult. Other sources include red meat, oysters, other shellfish, nuts, and seeds are all good natural dietary sources of zinc.
Copper is a vital trace mineral that aids in many bodily functions, including proper eye function. Along with zinc and antioxidants, it has been linked to improved eye health in several studies.
Recent studies have shown promising results for copper’s neuroprotective effects in disorders affecting the retina and optic nerve, suggesting it may help maintain healthy eyes.
It has to be kept in mind that the body has challenges absorbing zinc and copper, thus their interaction is complicated. Because of this, taking zinc supplements in excess might result in copper insufficiency.
When supplementing with zinc, especially at larger doses, it is often advised to take copper to keep the body’s zinc-to-copper ratio healthy. A commonly recommended ratio of zinc to copper is 10:1 or 15:1. As an example when supplementing with 10 mg of zinc per day. When taking 30 mg of zinc daily, take 1 mg of copper.
5. Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo biloba leaves are a popular herbal supplement. Its health implications, particularly eye health, have been researched to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory characteristics that could benefit the eyes. It has been studied as a possible treatment for ocular diseases such as glaucoma, AMD, and diabetic retinopathy.
The RDA of Ginkgo Biloba is 240 mg.
6. GLA Gamma linolenic Acid
Although gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) has not been linked to improved eye health specifically, it is an essential nutrient that has been shown to affect many aspects of health, including the eyes positively. A study suggests that persons with chronic dry eye may benefit from taking gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) and omega-3 fatty acids.
It is found in plant oils such as evening primrose oil, borage oil, and blackcurrant seed oil and its RDA is 300mg orally.
The bilberry related to the more well-known blueberry, may help maintain healthy eyes. Its high antioxidant content makes them helpful in preventing eye damage caused by free radicals.
There is some evidence that bilberries can aid with night vision and low-light adaption. The anthocyanins in bilberries are thought to be responsible for this effect. They also have been linked to enhanced circulation and microcirculation, which benefits the eyes by bringing more oxygen and nutrients to them.
RDA for bilberry is 160-300 mg.
8. Vitamin E
A potent antioxidant, vitamin E safeguards cells all across the body, including those in the eyes. The cells of the eye and those involved in vision are vulnerable to oxidative damage from environmental exposures such as pollution, smoking, and damaging radiation; however, vitamin E acts to arrest this damage by neutralizing free radicals.
Vitamin E deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which can lead to central vision loss in people over 65. Even Vitamin E’s ability to prevent cataracts or decrease their progression has been the subject of several research. Its supplementation has been linked in some research to reducing dry eye symptoms, including irritation and dryness.
Vegetable oils (such as safflower and maize oil), almonds, wheat germ, and sweet potatoes are excellent dietary sources of vitamin E. However, the RDA for Vitamin E is 400 IU / 268 mg for adults.
9. Vitamin C
Vitamin C has been shown to reduce the likelihood of getting cataracts and to decrease the advancement of age-related macular degeneration and loss of visual acuity when combined with other necessary nutrients. According to the results of one study, taking vitamin C may slow the development of cataracts by a third.
Even Collagen, a protein present in the connective tissues of the eyes, is largely synthesized by vitamin C. Ocular tissues, including the cornea, sclera, and vitreous humor, rely on collagen for structural stability.
Oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, papayas, green peppers, and tomatoes are all good sources of vitamin C. Vitamin C has an RDA of 90 milligrams (mg) for males and 75 mg for women, as determined by the National Institutes of Health.
10. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids, which may be found in salmon, tuna, and other cold-water fish, are beneficial for the health of the eye’s oily outer layer, inflammation, and tear formation.
Omega-3 fatty acids particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), greatly aid the growth and health of the retina. According to studies in both preterm and full-term newborns, getting adequate omega-3 fatty acids in the diet is essential for good visual development.
Its use for a reduction in dry eyes is extensively studied with a marked reduction in symptoms such as itching, redness, and inflammation. Researchers have looked at the possible advantages of omega-3 fatty acids in various retinopathies, including diabetic retinopathy and retinopathy of prematurity.
Some research suggests that increasing the DHA to EPA ratio might benefit your eyes. The RDA is 150 – 250 mg.
11. Magnesium 250 mg
Magnesium supplementation has shown promise in improving diabetics’ retinal health, according to a few studies. Also, researchers have found some evidence linking glaucoma risk with decreased magnesium consumption.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for 19-51-year-old adults is 400-420 mg for men and 310-320 mg per day for women.
Incorporating magnesium-rich foods into your diet, such as dark green vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and legumes, is beneficial for your eyes and your overall health.
12. Vitamin A
It has been found that a sufficient intake of vitamin A is necessary for excellent night vision and overall visual acuity and also for improving the structural integrity of the cornea improving the eyesight. It may also aid in promoting appropriate tear production, conjunctival health, and alleviating eye discomfort caused by dry eyes.
The primary source of Vitamin A is kale, spinach, and carrots. Vitamin A can also be obtained from antioxidant plant compounds known as provitamin A carotenoids, which are abundant in certain fruits and vegetables. Provitamin A carotenoids provide approximately 30% of the average person’s vitamin A needs. The RDA for men is 900 mcg RAE (equal to 3,000 IU), while the RDA for women is 700 mcg RAE for adults 19 and older.
The following table summarizes the nutrient and its sources
A balanced diet is essential for optimal eye health, but it won’t protect against every disease or disorder of the eye. Conditions and illnesses of the eye sometimes have several causes, including heredity, age, and environmental factors.
Recent advances in eye care technology have resulted in more options for those with aged eyes. Cataract surgery, for example, can successfully remove cataracts and restore clear eyesight. Laser therapy is one therapeutic option for various eye problems, including glaucoma and retinal abnormalities. Your eye doctor may advise you to try one of these cutting-edge therapies and solutions for aging eyes if he or she believes it will improve your condition.
Combining routine eye exams, changes in lifestyle, and excellent eye care routines are necessary to keep eyes healthy as we age. By emphasizing good eating, avoiding risky behaviors, and protecting your eyes from injury, you can delay the onset of age-related vision loss for many years.
Although specific challenges are associated with aging eyes, many options exist for preserving eyesight and giving solutions to aging eyes. You may maintain good eye health as you age by prioritizing getting checkups, living a healthy lifestyle, safeguarding your eyes, and using corrective procedures when necessary. Embrace the latest advancements in eye care technology and talk to your eye doctor about what’s best for your eyes. By caring for your eyes from the get-go, you can keep your eyesight sharp and healthy for the long haul.