We often don’t know what we have until it’s gone, and there’s no better example of this than eye health. However, it turns out that there are many things you can do to preserve your eye health, even in retirement. Here are some ways to keep your eyes healthy for a long, long time:
- Quit smoking. The easiest way to improve overall health, including eye health, in retirement is to quit smoking. The chemicals burned by smoking cigarettes can irritate the eyes, causing redness and watering. Some studies have shown that it can also contribute to macular degeneration and damage to your optic nerve. If you haven’t been convinced to stop smoking yet, retirement is a good time to kick the habit.
- Protect your eyes. Sun damage can in impact your eyes as well as your skin. Wear sunglasses at the beach and on bright days. If you’re out on snowy ground on a bright day, you can run the risk of snow blindness, so come prepared with the proper eye protection.
- Keep those checkups. Regular eye appointments are vital to eye health. Visiting your doctor according to their recommendations (usually at least once a year) will help catch any potential problems early so you can get them treated immediately.
- Rest your eyes. Today we spend more time in front of digital screens than ever. Computers, tablets, phones, and televisions force us to focus closely on nearby objects for long periods of time, which can result in eye strain. Practice looking away from the screen every twenty minutes or so to focus on objects further away for about twenty minutes. This is often referred to as the 20-20-20 rule, and it really does help you preserve your eyes and reduce headaches.
- Eat a diet rich in greens. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables isn’t just great for helping you maintain your weight in retirement, but also for preserving your eyes. Eat plenty of dark leafy greens like spinach and collard greens. Fatty fish such as tuna and salmon, rich in omega-3 vitamins, have also been proven to deliver many benefits for eye health.