Healthy Aging September 2023: Vision Loss Can Increases The Risks Of Depression, Diabetes, Hearing Impairment, Stroke, And Premature Death

Achieving Healthy Aging Through an Active Lifestyle

It is currently September 2023, a month dedicated to promoting healthy aging. Adopting an active lifestyle is important to maintain and enhance physical and mental well-being, independence, and overall quality of life. It is a lifelong journey that requires consistent effort to maintain good health in the elderly. Active aging entails taking various factors into consideration, including biological, psychological, and social elements that affect daily life.

Did you know that September is Healthy Aging Month? This annual event aims to increase awareness about the positive aspects of growing older. With approximately 70 million Baby Boomers (people aged 58-76 born between 1946 thru 1964) and 65 million Generation X (1965 – 1980) individuals getting older each year, it’s important to stay informed about healthy aging. This information can help you maintain and improve your physical and mental health, as well as your independence and overall quality of life throughout the aging process. It’s also worth noting that vision loss can increase the risk of depression, diabetes, hearing impairment, stroke, falls, cognitive decline, and premature death.

In a February 2022 report, it was revealed that in the United States approximately 12 million people aged 40 and above suffer from vision impairment, and about one million suffer from blindness. The World Health Organization reports that over 2.2 billion people have eye and vision problems globally. It is known that 1 in 6  Americans, age 65 and older, have a vision impairment that is uncorrectable with glasses or contact lenses. Research has shown that the risk of eye disease increases with age. Many older adults fail to visit an ophthalmologist for eye care. The American Academy of Ophthalmology celebrates Healthy Aging Month by raising awareness about the signs and symptoms of vision loss and providing steps critical for helping seniors take care of their sight.

Ways to Lower the Risk of Chronic Diseases and Delay Aging:

  • Getting enough physical activity
  • Limiting alcohol and stress
  • Healthy Eating; Fruits and Vegetables
  • Adequate sleep

The National Institute of Health (NIH) Defines Healthy Aging As Identifiable To:

  • A specific age
  • Being free of long-lasting diseases
  • Self-sufficient in activities of daily living
  • Wellbeing
  • Good quality of life
  • High social participation
  • Mild mental or functional loss
  • Little or no disability.

Healthy Eating To Enhance And The Benefits

A lack of vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, Vitamin E, Zinc, and Lutein in your diet can increase the risk of age-related vision conditions such as macular degeneration. NIH/NEI recommends the following for healthy vision:

  • Eat healthy foods like dark, leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard greens
  • Eat fish like salmon, tuna, and halibut which are high in omega-3 fatty acids
  • Be physical. It can also lower your risk of health conditions that can cause eye health or vision problems — like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
  • Stop smoking. It is bad for your lungs, eyes and increases the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts diseases, and harms the optic nerve
  • Wear sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB radiation
  • Wear protective eyewear like safety glasses and goggles
  • Don’t overwork your eyes. Given them a break every 20 minutes to look at something about 20 feet away for 20 seconds
  • Take the appropriate steps to prevent eye infections due to contact lenses
Healthy Lifestyle And The Benefits

Medline Plus believes that the following things can help keep your eyes healthy and make sure you are seeing your best:

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Get regular exercise
  • Wear sunglasses
  • Wear protective eyewear
  • Avoid smoking
  • Know your family medical history
  • Know your other risk factors

Contact us if you have concerns about your health. We welcome the opportunity to examine your eyes and ensure your vision health.

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Dr. Lori Landrio, Optometrist
2469 Merrick Road
Bellmore, NY 11710

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