Keep Your Mind and Body in Top Condition
Taking Care of Your Eyes
What aging can bring: Dryness, presbyopia, cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma.
What the research shows: Although presbyopia (trouble reading things up close) almost inevitably sets in around age 40, good nutrition may help with other age-related eye issues. “People who consume high levels of antioxidants have a reduced risk of macular degeneration [a disorder that leads to gradual vision loss],” says Emily Chew, deputy director of epidemiology and clinical research at the National Eye Institute, in Bethesda, Maryland. (Smoking, however, increases your risk.) And omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids help “open up the glands around the eyes, so patients with dry eyes make more, better-quality tears,” says Michael Goldstein, an ophthalmologist in Boston.
What you can do: See an eye doctor regularly to catch early signs of trouble. Eat plenty of leafy greens and consider taking a fish-oil supplement. Protecting your eyes from sun exposure can help reduce your risk of cataracts.
So maybe you can’t change your health overnight. But you can get a head start.