May brings us Healthy Vision Month. The National Eye Institute (NEI) created this observance in order to remind people to make eye health a priority and protect their vision by getting a yearly comprehensive eye exam. This becomes increasingly important as we age due to the number of eye diseases that can develop, many of which show no symptoms until irreversible damage is done.
In addition to an eye exam, the NEI stresses the importance of wearing UV protected sunglasses and living an eye-healthy lifestyle that includes a diet of whole foods, exercise, managing chronic disease such as diabetes, maintaining the appropriate weight, and not smoking.
Eye Healthy Foods
Lutein and zeaxanthin are two important carotenoids that are found in the tissues of the eyes. Include foods that are high in these antioxidants in order to promote eye health. These can be found in leafy greens—particularly kale and spinach—eggs, peas, corn and green beans. Studies show that these nutrients reduce the risk of both age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids also show promise in protecting the eyes from the ravages of time and free radicals. These can be found in salmon, tuna, halibut, and walnuts.
Studies have shown that those who exercise run a reduced risk of developing several eye diseases, including cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, and glaucoma. Exercise also helps control chronic diseases such as diabetes that can lead to the eye disorders previously listed as well as diabetic retinopathy. Strive for at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 days per week.
Smoking is a contributor and high risk factor for several diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, COPD, and eye disease. Smoking affects the arterial walls, leading to the formation of plaque which leads to a diminished blood flow and oxygen supply. Smokefree 60+ is a government sponsored website that offers tips, tools, and online support for those over 60 who are trying to quit this sometimes difficult habit to break.
Elder Care Provider
If your loved one is having difficulty completing the everyday tasks of living, an elder care provider can help. Consider obtaining their services if your loved one needs help bathing, dressing, preparing meals, running errands, performing light housekeeping, or has transportation needs. An elder care provider not only assists with the daily activities, they provide the companionship and care that can help spur a loved one to make the necessary lifestyle changes that are so important to healthy aging.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Edison, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care of New Brunswick today. Call (732) 607-8870.