If you’ve started reading books at arm’s length, you probably blame your age. Statistics show that by 60, one in 12 of us will experience serious vision problems. But is it inevitable?
‘There’s a big misconception that our eyesight deteriorates simply because we get older. But it’s actually a lifetime of exposure to UV light that exacerbates common conditions such as macular degeneration and cataracts,’ says optician Tony Russell.
The earlier we start looking after our eyes, the better, so make these changes now:
- Wear sunglasses year round – and choose a pair with UV protection. On an overcast day, as much as 90% of sun’s harmful rays still penetrate the clouds. UV rays are even more damaging at high altitudes, so if you like to hike, keep your glasses on.
- Diet can help guard against the commonest cause of blindness – age-related macular degeneration – but you’d need to eat a mixing bowl of spinach every day, plus four portions of fish a week. Consult your doctor about suitable supplements.
- Never look directly at the sun. ‘Even the briefest of looks can temporarily bleach the retina,’ says Russell.