Your eyes are a fantastic part of your body. They allow you to see the world around you and make it possible for you to read this article right now. As you get older, it’s important to take care of your eyes so that they stay healthy for many years to come.
It’s common for vision to change after 40, and if you haven’t been wearing eye glasses till now, it’s likely that you may soon require them. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 12 million people in the US over the age of 40 suffer from some kind of vision impairment.
The most important step in taking care of your eyes as you age is to get them frequently checked. And though you may not be able to prevent wearing glasses, eye exams can help in the early detection of health issues.
However, not all age-related eye problems can threaten your vision. Some are just uncomfortable and downright annoying. Following are some remedies that can take care of your eyes without you having to spend too much money on them:
Have Less Salt
As per WHO, 2.2 billion people worldwide have near or distant vision impairment, and at least half of these could have been prevented.
A few simple changes in your diet can help combat eye issues over 40. The first thing you’ll want to do is stop eating so much salt. Salt is not good for the body, and it can hurt the eyes. It can lead to high blood pressure and other problems such as bloating and water retention, which are both things that affect your eyesight.
Next, you’re going to want to limit eating processed foods. Processed foods are not good for your body or your eyesight. They contain a lot of chemicals and preservatives that can cause problems over time.
Drink More Water
The best way to keep your eyes healthy is to drink plenty of water. As a general rule, you should drink 1 ounce of water for every 2 pounds of body weight every day.
As you age, your body loses its ability to regulate thirst, and you can become dehydrated without realizing it. Dehydration can cause dry eyes and other health issues. Drinking too much caffeine or alcohol also causes dehydration, so it’s important to limit these beverages as well if you have noticed that your eyes are becoming dry or irritated more often than usual.
The benefits of drinking plenty of water include:
- Your blood pressure will stay normal.
- You will look younger because keeping your skin hydrated helps reduce lines and wrinkles.
Use Ghee for Your Eyes
Ghee, also known as clarified butter, is a staple in many South Asian cuisines. It’s made by heating butter until the milk solids separate, leaving behind only pure fat (which has a higher smoke point than regular butter). This process makes ghee more digestible and better for your heart and eyes.
- To make ghee: melt 1 pound of unsalted butter in a pan on low heat. Let it cook down until all the water evaporates and you’re left with a clear golden liquid that looks like melted wax. This should take about 15 minutes. Let stand for another 30 minutes to cool slightly before straining through cheesecloth or fine mesh sieve into a glass jar. Ghee keeps in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
- To use ghee: add 1 tablespoonful to warm tea or coffee to wake up tired eyes, and place some under your eyes before bedtime to soothe puffiness from sleep deprivation. Spread over eyelids for 10 minutes before going outside on sunny days.
Use Cold Compress
If you have been experiencing pain or redness in your eyes, a cold compress, a washcloth soaked in cold water, can help to reduce inflammation.
Use a cold compress after seeing an eye doctor and getting the all-clear on your vision. A cold compress is best used for 15 minutes per day but no longer than two days at a time.
Avoid Rubbing Your Eyes
Eye rubbing is a common habit that can cause major discomfort and irritation. When you rub your eyes, it can:
- Irritate the cornea (the front part of the eye) and conjunctiva (the clear covering over your sclera).
- Cause eye strain from focusing too much on small details for too long. This strain can lead to headaches, blurred vision, or even double vision.
- Dilate blood vessels near the surface of the eye, which increases pressure in them and causes redness in your eyes, particularly if those blood vessels are already inflamed due to allergies or other conditions.
The increased blood flow may also increase sensitivity to light by drying out mucous membranes inside tear ducts.
The number of people with vision problems is growing every year. As per an IAPB projection, the number of people with vision loss will increase by 55%, affecting 600 million people over the next 30 years.
Now that you’re over 40 taking care of your eyes is more important than ever. There are a lot of things you can do to ensure that your vision stays clear for years to come. Some of these tips might seem simple, but they can make all the difference in how well you see and feel on a day-to-day basis.