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10 Steps To Maintaining Good Eye Health

How to maintain your vision and eye health as you age

Good eye health is perhaps our most precious gift. Just imagine slowly losing your vision and general eye health as you get older. It doesn't sound very inviting, does it?

Deteriorating eye health and increasingly poor vision are a fact of life for millions of Americans from middle age onward.

Most people over the age of 40 experience Presbyopia, also known as "old eyes". As we age, our lenses lose their flexibility. By age 50, most of us require reading glasses and we have to hold reading materials further and further from our eyes. 

The ability of the lens to alter its shape in order to focus on objects brought close to the eye is called "accommodation". The ability to accommodate is a basic, but important "biological age" test bio-marker.

Modern living re-enforces this age-related tendency of the lens to lose its ability to accommodate. Only recently have most of us performed sustained near vision tasks for year after year beginning at a young age.

Our general eye health can deteriorate as we age if we allow it to. The following 10 steps can help reduce increased visual stress and maintain proper eye health and vision:

  1. Look up and away often when performing prolonged near vision tasks.
  2. The lighting focused on your work area should be three times brighter than that in the rest of the room. Never use a single lamp for reading and eliminate all glare.
  3. Sit up straight and keep your work at eye level.
  4. Try to maintain a distance of 14 to 16 inches from the eyes when performing near vision tasks.
  5. Avoid the temptation to recline. Sit upright while you're reading or watching television.
  6. While writing, hold your pen at least one inch from the tip to prevent having to tilt your head to see your words as you write.
  7. Place your TV at a distance of at least 7 times the width of the screen.
  8. Get involved in outdoor activities that require using distance vision.
  9. Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables of all colors. Supplement this diet with anti-oxidants and botanicals that are known to promote good eye health.
  10. Wear black-gray and green-gray sunglasses because these colors pass the full spectrum of colors evenly without distortion.

    Blue shades are bad because they tend to scatter light. Pink and yellow pass more light and will strain your eyes on bright days.

    People with cataracts should use brown because of its softer tones. Use polarized lenses to eliminate harmful glare and reflection.

    Most modern prescription units have built-in UV protection. Make sure you purchase a pair that has the term "filtered" on the tag.

    Transitional lenses are dark when outdoors, but clear up when you go inside. They tend to have a gray hue all the time due to the UV from indoor fluorescent lighting.

    Wear lenses with anti-reflection coatings that let in more light while you're at the computer and for driving at night to reduce the halo effect.

You can maintain your good eye health and vision, possibly reducing the need for ever stronger glasses, by following these simple recommendations.

And remember, your vision is one of your most important assets! Protect it by maintaining proper eye health!

About the author:

Dr. John H. Maher, A.B.A.A.H.P. is the editor of Longevity News. Visit him at: www.RxforWellness.com

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