You may never have to deal with vision loss, but caring for your eyes should still be a top priority even when you’re a child or teenager. Millions of dollars have gone into eye care, such as the work at Stephen A Wynn Institute for Vision Research, but there are simple things you can do to ease aging and strain every day. Follow a few care tips to really see your sight flourish even in advanced age.
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It’s common sense to keep your eyes away from direct sunlight and extremely bright lights, but other influences affect your vision too. Electronic devices, from laptops to smartphones, emit bright light. Focusing on that light for hours at a time is stressful and contributes to strain over the years. Allow your eyes to take a break every 20 minutes. Focus on an inanimate object about 20 feet away for 20 seconds, for instance. Allowing your eyes to focus on something other than a bright screen releases muscular stress and exercises your vision with beneficial effects.
Wearing Eye Protection
If you’re working with anything under tension, such as handling hand tools, always wear eye protection. You can instantly lose your vision in one eye if tools or other items strike the eye surface. Although eyes are safely housed in bony orbits, they’re still vulnerable to damage when force is applied. Safety goggles are a must for any person working with volatile items.
Even if you don’t have an actual vision problem, visit the doctor at least once a year to have an exam taken. Minute vision differences could occur from year to year, allowing them to be more apparent to doctors than to you. Visit your regular doctor or an ophthalmologist to have the best vision possible. They’ll be able to quantify any differences and rectify situations as necessary.
Donating to Vision Institutions
You can indirectly care for your vision by donating to eye research institutions. Professionals with extensive vision backgrounds are constantly experimenting and finding solutions to common ailments. Streamlining medication types or improving surgical procedures is part of their job, but they also want to reduce vision aging over time too. Any donations help you and many others with their potential vision issues as time wears on.
Connecting With Your Doctor
It’s not necessary to wait an entire year for a basic physical and talk about possible vision problems. If you start to see obvious vision changes, such as blurry images or even floating phenomena, make an appointment with your doctor. Working with your doctor as issues arise makes treatment possibly easier than if you waited many more months.
Your general practitioner may only perform basic eye exams on you, so be proactive and research skilled ophthalmologists for more in-depth vision care. A current doctor may even have a referral for you, giving you a chance to see a busy professional at the top of their game. You want the best care for your eyes to see children and grandchildren grow over the years.
A person over 65, who takes aspirin daily, has twice the risk to develop an age-related vision loss (late stage macular degeneration) than a peer who almost never takes it, a recent study has shown.
Aspirin used daily could aggravate late stage macular degeneration and lead to vision loss.
No directly association between aspirin and vision loss could be proved by the study, but the scientists are worried the aspirin could aggravate the eye disease, as long as lots of seniors take this medicine.
The European study has been published in the journal Ophthalmology and included 4691 people over 65. The subjects were from Norway, Estonia, Britain, France, Greece, Italy and Spain.
Medical scientists, led by Dr. Paulus de Jong at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience and Academic Medical Center, gathered health and lifestyle information.
Of the 839 daily aspirin users, around 36 (4%) had an advanced form of the disease, wet macular degeneration. Only 2% of persons who took aspirin less frequently had the same type of macular degeneration (aging macula disorder).
“For people who have age-related macular degeneration, it probably isn’t wise to recommend taking aspirin,” William Christen of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston told Reuters Health. He was not involved in this study.
Wet macular degeneration leads to vision loss in the center of the eye’s field of vision.
The wet form (neovascular or exudative macular degeneration) causes vision loss due to abnormal blood vessel growth. Scarring, bleeding, leaking from these blood vessels eventually cause rapid vision loss if left untreated
Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid, ASA) use has already been known for causing or aggravating gastrointestinal bleeding, but in the same time it has appeared to protect against cataract and in 2004 a study has shown aspirin is associated with decreased rates of abnormal blood vessel growth in patients with macular degeneration. Thus, aspirin could decrease the risk of vision loss.
The dry form is less severe. Its cause is an atrophy of the retinal pigment, which causes visual impairment, vision loss in the central part of the eye.
Aspirin use was not linked to the dry form, nor to earlier stages of the disease, scientists said.
In other studies aspirin appeared to protect against cataract or neovascularization in macular degenaration, thus protecting against vision loss.
Wet and dry macular degeneration are the leading causes of vision loss in persons over age 60. These conditions affect millions of Americans.
The seniors often take aspirin to prevent or to slow the progression of cardiovascular diseases. It could be the cardiovascular diseases that are linked with macular degeneration, some medical scientists said. According to Dr. Paulus de Jong, the researchers found that aspirin users, regardless of their heart condition, are at a greater risk of vision loss.
Yet, the benefits of the drug outweigh the risks of vision loss for people with cardiovascular illnesses who take aspirin to prevent the condition from worsening.
People should be aware that aspirin might aggravate macular degeneration, but on the other hand “a healthy eye with full visual capacities is of no use in a dead body,” said Paulus de Jong.
Further larger studies that follow people over time and document their aspirin use and vision are required to established the association between aspirin and vision loss.