Maintaining A Healthy Diet And Lifestyle Are Key To Achieving Healthy Aging
As September 2023 approaches, it’s important to focus on healthy aging. Staying active is crucial for maintaining physical and mental well-being, which in turn helps preserve independence and quality of life. Active aging is an ongoing process that requires consistent effort to maintain good health among older adults. This entails taking into account various factors, such as biological, psychological, and social aspects that affect daily life.
It is September 2023, and it’s time to recognize Healthy Aging Month, an annual event that celebrates the benefits of growing older. With over 70 million Baby Boomers (individuals born between 1946 and 1964, aged 58-76) and 65 million Generation X (born between 1965 and 1980) individuals aging with each passing year, it is crucial to stay informed about healthy aging to maintain good physical and mental health. This includes preserving independence and quality of life as we age. It’s also important to note 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 approximately 12 million people aged 40 and above in the United States suffer from vision impairment, and about one million suffer from blindness. Globally, the World Health Organization reports that over 2.2 billion people have eye and vision problems. It’s known that 1 in 6 Americans aged 65 and older have a vision impairment that is uncorrectable with glasses or contact lenses, and the risk of eye disease increases with age. Unfortunately, many older adults fail to visit an ophthalmologist for eye care. The American Academy of Ophthalmology celebrates Healthy Aging Month by raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of vision loss and providing critical steps 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
- 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.