The Aging Eyes: Are your Habits a Factor?
Eye health may not be something that we consider on a daily basis. However, research is uncovering a number of different ways that our daily habits may be causing premature aging in this very important aspect of health.
Sun exposure. Typically, we consider how exposure to UV rays may affect our skin. Most often, this consideration occurs on a day when we may be worried about sunburn. According to studies, most people do not apply sunscreen on a daily basis. This may affect the delicate skin around the eyes more than the rest of the body. Even on your drive to work, UV exposure through the windows of your car is breaking down collagen in the skin. This results in fine lines and wrinkles and under eye bags. Broad-spectrum sunscreen and sunglasses with 100% UV filtering can minimize the consequences of exposure.
Sleep exposure. As much as we may understand the value of sleep, a large majority of Americans get far less than they need. Sleep is important to our cognitive abilities, our motor skills, and, yes, to our eye health. Inadequate sleep has been directly associated with involuntary twitching in the muscles around the eye as well as dry eye disease. To help your eyes look and feel their best, get plenty of exposure to sleep!
Food exposure. Our food choices are important to how we feel on a daily basis. It is also important to our long-term visual acuity. We may think of carrots in terms of their beneficial effect on our eyes. In addition to this healthy vegetable, the eyes benefit from antioxidants in leafy green vegetables and in fresh fruits. Omega fatty acids are also crucial to eye health. If your diet does not contain enough, consider a quality supplement.
Hydration. 60% of the body is water. When we become dehydrated, it becomes more difficult for ocular structures to produce tears. The eyes require sufficient tear production for adequate lubrication. When we are dehydrated and we have insufficient tear production, the eyes become irritated and red, and our vision may become blurry.
We are happy to help our patients maintain optimal eye health. Contact us today to schedule your eye exam.