March 01, 2014

Warning signs of a serious eye problem

     Eyesight naturally changes as we age. As we grow older, our eyes go from being able to refocus easily to having a harder time seeing . People who used to be able to see well at distances and close up in their 20s will need glasses for reading by their mid-40s. But while glasses can help, there's another category of eye problems that post 50s may unwittingly be making worse: eye disease. The most common eye diseases all increase with age starting at about age 40 to 50.

Here are five surprising ways you're hurting your vision:

1. Smoking

      We all know the damage smoking can do to your body, but many may not realize the effect the bad habit has on the eyes. It can increase the risk of suffering from cataracts and retinal diseases that lead to vision loss. It also makes existing eye problems -- age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and optic nerve damage worse. Smoking seems to affect circulation. As we get older, life forces tend to challenge our circulatory systems -- add smoking to it and it's even worse. That's because having healthy circulation of blood to your eyes means your eyes are getting the oxygen and nutrients they need to prevent eye diseases and eye stress.

2. UV Exposure

    Similar to how it causes damage to the skin, UV light damages your DNA which leads to cellular damage. The body has repair mechanisms, but over time these damages accumulate and the body can't compensate after a certain point. Hence the damage to the surface structures and the deep structures of the eye are evident.
 3. Not Taking Proper Care Of Your Overall Health
    Things like managing your cholesterol and blood pressure can improve your eyesight. These things all contribute to eye health. If the person has high blood pressure, they're at a higher risk for having damage to the eye that can lead to vision loss. There are certain eye diseases associated with diabetes and high blood pressure. In the case of diabetic retinopathy, damage to the eye's blood vessels as a result of diabetes, the National Eye Institute recommends stopping the disease's progression by controlling the levels of blood sugar, blood pressure and blood cholesterol.
4. Computers and iPads

    Though the effect technology has on our eyes has been well-documented, it's worth noting again.
     A few things happen when you stare at a computer, people do concentrated near work they tend to not blink as often as when they're doing more active activities. The eye is focused on one spot for a long time, and the eye muscle may fatigue and feel a sense of strain.

Impaired vision is not a normal part of aging. Here's how you can take control of your eye health.

Make an appointment for an eye exam.

    A lot of people take their good vision for granted. Unless they have a problem, they don't think about what they should do to get their eye health looked at.This is especially problematic because there aren't early warning signs for some eye disease. Without that eye exam we can't identify a problem and treat it. So much of blindness and vision loss is preventable, but the key is early detection.
Call your doctor if you experience any of the following:
·        Change in iris color
·        Crossed eyes
·        Dark spot in the center of your field of vision
·        Difficulty focusing on near or distant objects
·        Double vision
·        Dry eyes with itching or burning
·        Episodes of cloudy vision
·        Excess discharge or tearing
·        Eye pain
·        Floaters or flashers
·        Growing bump on the eyelid
·        Halos (colored circles around lights) or glare
·        Hazy or blurred vision
·        Inability to close an eyelid
·        Loss of peripheral vision
·        Redness around the eye
·        Spots in your field of vision
·        Sudden loss of vision
·        Trouble adjusting to dark rooms
·        Unusual sensitivity to light or glare
·        Veil obstructing vision
·        Wavy or crooked appearance to straight lines


"Nutrients that are found in green leafy vegetables and omega-3 fatty acids seem to be particularly helpful for dry eye problems. There are a number of foods that promote better vision, including nuts, seafood and quinoa.


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