; Eye Health and Being 40

Monday, May 20, 2013

Eye Health and Being 40

“Taking a little extra care to protect our eye health and vision as we enter or 40’s is worth making a priority,” said Indiana Ophthalmologist Scott Buck, M.D of Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center in Valparaiso, IN. “It’s pretty important for adults-even without symptoms or known risk factors for eye disease to get a baseline eye examination at 40 for early detection, diagnosis and treatment of eye problems, conditions & diseases. Starting early will help to preserve eye health and vision.” Some things to consider as we enter our 40’s:

Your Eyes & Exercise
Our eyes need good blood circulation and oxygen intake, and both are stimulated by regular exercise. Regular exercise also helps keep our weight in the normal range, which reduces the risk of diabetes and diabetic retinopathy. Remember to use sun safety and protective eyewear when enjoying sports and recreation.

Your Eyes & Smoking 
Avoiding smoking, or quitting, is one of the best investments you can make in your long-term overall and eye health. Even though as you enter your 40’s old age seems a long way off, smoking can increase your risks for cataracts and macular degeneration (AMD) as well as for cardiovascular diseases that indirectly influence our eyes’ health. Smoking increases the risk of severe vision loss for people with other eye diseases, such as glaucoma, as well.

Your Eyes & Sleep
As we sleep, our eyes enjoy continuous lubrication. Also during sleep the eyes clear out irritants such as dust, allergens, or smoke that may have accumulated during the day. Some research suggests that light-sensitive cells in the eye are important to our ability to regulate our wake-sleep cycles. This becomes more crucial as we age, when more people have problems with insomnia. While it's important that we protect our eyes from over-exposure to UV light, our eyes also need exposure to some natural light every day to help maintain normal sleep-wake cycles.

Your Eyes & Systemic Health Problems
Systemic health problems like high blood pressure and diabetes that may be diagnosed or become more problematic in midlife can also affect eye health. One warning sign of both high blood pressure and diabetes is when the ability to see clearly changes frequently. Be sure to keep your eye doctor informed about your health conditions and use of medications and nutritional supplements, as well as your exercise, eating, sleeping and other lifestyle choices.

Dry Eye
This uncomfortable condition becomes more common as people age. Women are more susceptible after menopause due to hormonal changes, but incidence also increases for men as they grow older. It is usually treated with over-the-counter or prescription eye lubricants. If dry eye is severe, surgery to reduce tear drainage may be needed. If you have contact lenses, follow the use guidelines and avoid wearing lenses longer than recommended. If dry eye persists, talk to your eye doctor about possible treatments. Definitely discuss dry eye treatment with your eye doctor if you are thinking about or planning to have LASIK or other refractive surgery. Some medications increase dry eye. If you are taking pain relievers, antidepressants, antihistamines, or have questions about your medications, please bring this to our attention during your eye exam. You may wish to consider following a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) as it may reduce or help prevent dry eye.

If you or someone you know is entering their 40’s, it is time to schedule regular eye exams to preserve eye health and vision. Please feel free to call Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center at 219-464-8223, or visit Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center or facebook.com/nwindianaeyeandlaser.

Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center in Valparaiso, IN is staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma as well as contact lenses, eyeglasses, eyewear and optical services. We are conveniently located for patients seeking eye care from throughout northern Indiana including La Porte, Mishawaka, South Bend, Michigan City, Crown Point, Merrillville, Chesterton, South Haven, Westville, Hebron, Lowell, Valparaiso and Walkerton as well as Chicago, Illinois suburban areas of Frankfurt, Calumet City, Monee and Crete.