By Gerri Stone
Recent statistics reveal that one out of ten women between the ages of 40 and 65 wears reading glasses. If you already wear glasses or contact lenses, then bifocals might be in your future. If you are like most women, this is not an event to look forward to.
In what is considered the ‘normal aging processes’, the lens of your eye begins to stiffen as the years go by. As the lens becomes less flexible, it becomes more difficult to focus on something close. This is a form of farsightedness called presbyopia. This condition is generally corrected with reading glasses or bifocal lenses.
There are also several age related eye diseases that can occur over 40. Most serious eye diseases are painless, and show no symptoms for years. Only a qualified professional can detect and diagnose them before they cause permanent damage.
Glaucoma is one of the most common eye diseases. Glaucoma causes almost 12% of all blindness in the US. Increased fluid builds up within the eyeball, causing pressure. This pressure, over time causes irreversible damage and blindness.
Cataracts are caused by a build up of protein on the lens of the eye. Over time, the lens turns milky white, and clouds vision. The lenses then need to be surgically replaced to restore vision.
Macular Degeneration results in the loss of sharp vision. The macula is the part of your eye that is responsible for sharp focus, and bringing things clearly into view. The cause of this condition is still unknown, and it generally affects people over 60.
Like all other parts of your body, your eyes respond favorably to great nutrition and exercise. Optimum nutrition for your eyes includes proper amounts of Vitamin A, C, and E, as well as the minerals selenium and zinc. These nutrients are found in fresh fruits and vegetables, especially in yellow and yellow-orange foods like yams, cantaloupes, and carrots.
A growing number of vision therapists believe that a series of eye exercises done daily can help keep your eyes younger. Common sense tells us that exercise is important for all the muscles in the body, and the eye muscles are no different.
There are several hundred various exercises for your eyes, and no single exercise can offer the solution to every vision problem.
One you can try if you work at a computer all day is to tack a piece of newsprint to the wall, about 8 feet away from your computer terminal. Interrupt your work every 15 to 20 minutes, and focus on the newspaper, then back to your computer screen. Do this several times daily. This exercise can help prevent the blurry vision that some people experience at the end of their workday.
Deteriorating vision does not have to go along with the aging process. If owning a pair of reading glasses, or bifocals is the last thing you want to do, then it’s time to focus on prevention.