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Over 40? Tips to Maintain Eye Health

If you're over 40 years of age, you might experience some decline in your vision or become vulnerable to various eye diseases and conditions. Vision problems can interfere with your quality of life over time if you don’t put the right precautions in place. Minimize your risk for eye problems with the two tips below.
Add More Vitamin C to Your Diet
One of the best ways to maintain the health of your eyes is to eat foods that contain vitamin C. The nutrient protects your eyes from cataracts and several other diseases by protecting their cells and blood vessels from inflammation, disease, and germs. Vitamin C may also reduce your risk for age-related vision loss. However, you must ingest vitamin C daily to achieve the best benefits.
Consuming 75 to 90 milligrams of vitamin C a day is optimal for good vision health. Women should consume 75 milligrams while males should take in about 90 milligrams. If you suffer from other health conditions, such as gum disease or heart problems, you may need to take more. Talk to your eye doctor or health provider to find out how much vitamin C you need daily.
You may obtain your vitamin from oranges, tangerines, and leafy green vegetables like kale to get the best benefits. For instance, one medium-sized orange supplies almost 70 milligrams of vitamin C. If you're female, you can eat one medium orange and then consume one cup of kale or a medium-sized banana to make up the rest of your daily intake.
If your eyes don't improve, or if they become worse after you get your vitamin C, see an eye doctor for an exam and treatment. You may need corrective eyeglasses or contacts to improve your vision.
Protect Your Vision With Vitamin A
Vitamin A comes in two forms: retinol and carotenoid (provitamin A). Retinol is found in meat and dairy foods and is available for absorption right away. Carotenoid is found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables. Your body must convert, or change, carotenoid to retinol before it uses the vitamin. Both forms of vitamin A have antioxidant properties that protect your eyes' tissues from bacterial and viral infections.
Additionally, vitamin A keeps the surfaces of your eyes moist by preventing dry-eye syndrome. Dry-eye syndrome can cause a number of issues for your eyes, including itchiness, redness, and irritation. The syndrome may also make your eyes more vulnerable to infections if it causes abrasions and scratches on your eyes. Eating foods rich in vitamin A can also help you overcome these issues.
The FDA's daily value for vitamin A is 5,000 IU. It's a good idea to read your food labels carefully to avoid going over 5,000 IU each day. Too much vitamin A in any form may cause nausea and other symptoms. If in doubt about your vitamin A intake, consult with your care provider right away.
To help you get started, here's a short list of foods with high amounts of vitamin A:
  • Sweet potatoes 
  • Black-eyed peas
  • Beef liver
  • Broccoli
  • Apricots
You can also ask an optometrist to prescribe vitamin A drops to help keep your vision safe if you can't get enough vitamin A from food. Although you can find eye drops in a store, you may benefit from seeing a specialist instead. Your eyes may require a specific dose of drops that over-the-counter medications might not provide.
In addition, an optometrist may find other problems with your eyes that require treatment, such as dry eyes or inflammation.
You can learn more about age-related eyecare from the Chula Vista Vision Care Center. The doctors treat patients in El Cajon and Chula Vista, so don't hesitate to schedule your appointment today.