As the New Year approaches, resolve to improve your vision health. Dr. Marc Grossman and Michael Edson, co-authors of Natural Eye Care 2nd Edition, developed this checklist of New Year resolutions for vision health. Pick one or more resolution. Regardless of your age, you can reduce your risk of developing eye disease. Eye disease such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and glaucoma are prevalent in seniors. A few simple steps can help preserve the precious gift of sight.
- Schedule an annual eye exam. Even if you do not wear glasses, eye disease can creep up on you. Glaucoma often goes noticed until permanent damage sets in. Seniors should never skip an exam.
- Exercise. If you add nothing else to your lifestyle, focus on getting at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. Walking is the most basic, it’s free, and it only requires a pair of sneakers. However, you should also add more vigorous exercise. See our article, “What’s Your Daily Dose of Exercise.”
- Don’t smoke. Smoking constricts blood vessels. The eye contains very tiny blood vessels and capillaries that are vulnerable to the smallest changes. Smoking introduces vast amounts of oxidization into the body. Oxidizing molecules attack the microscopic structures of the eye, leading to macular degeneration, cataracts, and a host of other eye diseases.
- Control blood sugar. If you have any form of diabetes, control your blood sugar meticulously. Do not ration insulin. People with Type II diabetes, or pre-diabetes, need to discuss with their doctor how to manage their weight, nutrition, and exercise program.
- Try the Mediterranean Diet. People areas around the Mediterranean Ocean developed this way of eating. It emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, raw olive oil, lean proteins, and fish. Health-damaging process foods, excessive fats, fried foods, and processed sugar are limited. Our modified Vision Diet places special emphasis on eye health.
- Wear Sunglasses. Whenever you are out in the sun or driving on a bright day, wear UV protecting sunglasses. The ultraviolet light of the sun contributes to oxidization, leading to cataracts, macular degeneration, floaters, and more.
- Supplement if necessary. The eye is made from nutrients. However, seniors have lower caloric needs and absorb nutrients less efficiently. They face an uphill battle in getting the antioxidants and nutrients needed to fight eye disease. The Natural Eye Care website offers vitamins, minerals, herbs, oils, Chinese herbs, homeopathics, and special formulations designed to combat eye disease.
Happy New Year from all of us at Natural Eye Care. May this year be bright!