Protect Your Eyes at Every Age
In Your 20s
Watch out for signs of nearsightedness, or not being able to see things from far away. Now's the time your vision may start to change, even if it's always been 20/20. All that time you spend studying, Facebooking, Twittering and texting doesn't exactly help, either. See an eye doctor at least once in this decade for a checkup, more often if you have a personal or family history of eye disease.
In Your 30s
Hydrate—and we don't mean drinking more water (though it can't hurt). Many women start to get dry eye syndrome around now, and birth control pills are often a culprit. Prescription eye drops or OTC artificial tears can help. Get at least two eye exams between age 30 and 39, even if you're still seeing well.
In Your 40s and 50s
See an ophthalmologist about every two years, say experts at the Mayo Clinic. Be sure the doctor dilates your eyes. This checks for conditions including cataracts (the lens of your eye becomes cloudy), glaucoma (pressure in the eye damages the optic nerve) and macular degeneration (part of the retina that processes light deteriorates). Aging can also cause farsightedness (you can't focus on things right in front of you), so it might be time to pick up a pair of reading glasses or bifocals. Try progressive lenses so there's no visible line in your glasses, or bifocal or monovision contacts (one eye is corrected for distance, the other for near vision). If you haven't experienced dry eyes yet, there's a good chance you will now (thanks to aging and the hormonal changes that come with menopause).
In Your 60s and Older
Beware of macular degeneration. Your risk for this disease—the leading cause of age-related blindness in the U.S.—is highest now. If caught early, many cases can be successfully treated, which is why it's crucial to get screened annually. Issues with night driving (including seeing a glare from headlights), blurred vision or extreme sensitivity to light could mean early onset of cataracts.
Did You Know?
1.Eating oily fish can help prevent dry eyes because omega- 3 fatty acids help maintain normal tear production.
2.Smoking doesn't just hurt your lungs: It damages eye cells and can speed up the development of macular degeneration.
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