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5 Common Signs of Aging Vision & How You Can AVOID Vision LOSS

BY PUREHEALTH RESEARCH | Jul 01, 2021

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Creaky knees, hair loss, and wrinkles are just a few of the gifts we get with aging. And your vision isn’t exempt. Vision is your gateway to lighting up the world. It allows you to enjoy the smiling faces of loved ones, see the beauty of flowers in your yard, navigate stepping-stones through a creek, watch an exciting ballgame or tennis match or a hot air balloon extravaganza.

Vision loss can be devastating. Tucking into a good book can become an exercise in frustration. You end up watching your favorite shows through a foggy curtain missing out on hidden subtexts. You’re at higher risk for bumping into things and bruises, falling, and broken bones. It leaves you feeling like a burden requiring assistance for shopping and other everyday tasks. Vision loss can turn your world upside down and leave you and your emotions in darkness. But science shows there are POWERFUL STEPS you can take to SLOW or HALT vision decline and even REVERSE some.

What Happens to Aging Eyes

Presbyopia: If you’ve hit 40+, then you may have noticed your close-up vision isn’t as sharp. Things become fuzzy up close because the eyes’ lenses lose their ability to change shape to focus. That’s when you start extending your arms to read the menu.

Club

As you pass age 50 this condition, presbyopia, becomes more advanced – and your arms aren’t long enough to compensate. So, you end up with reading glasses or needing surgery to help your eyes.1

Tree

Loss of Peripheral Vision: Aging can come with a loss of the outer edges of your vision. This field of vision shrinks by about 1-3 degrees every decade.

That means by the time you’ve reached your 70s and 80s, you may have lost 20-30 degrees of your outer field (peripheral) vision and would have to move your head to see more. This increases your risk for accidents, especially when driving.2

Dry Eyes: With age, we produce fewer tears. Women, particularly after menopause, will experience this. You may notice a burning sensation, stinging, or other dry eye discomforts. An over-the-counter preservative-free saline drop can help replenish moisture and eye comfort.

Cataracts: This is so common that about half of all American seniors have some degree of cataract formation, and the percentage rises with age. Cataracts are caused when proteins in the eye’s lens start clumping.

Eyes

These cloudy formations gradually grow and obstruct the entering light, and blocks your vision.3

Eyes ball

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD): AMD is the leading cause of blindness in seniors.This can happen in 2 ways, wet or dry. The Dry pathway involves fat and protein deposits called Drusen that develop under the retina and blocks light from entering the optic nerve. The Wet form is when blood vessels under your macula deteriorate and leak blood into your retina. As they grow, these distort your vision, especially when you read. Straight lines may appear wavy. Over time the light-sensitive cells in your macula thins, you may have blind spots or loss of central vision. Eventually, macula cells die, and there’s permanent vision loss or blindness.4

How to Protect Your Aging Eyesight

There are several pathways by which eyes can lose their vitality, the most common include: a) inflammation, b) blood flow loss, c) nutrient deficiencies, d) damage from free radicals and e) injury from UV rays. The following steps can add years to healthy vision.

  1. Wear a hat & sunglasses that block 99-100% of UV rays when outdoors. UV-A and UV-B rays can harm the eyes and have long and short-term effects that can lead to AMD, cataracts, and more.5 6 And the effects are cumulative… all exposure adds up.
  2. Follow the 20-20-20 rule when using e-devices. Your eyes need a break from the hard work of staring at a computer screen for long stretches. This easy step gives your eyes a break, allowing them to recover from the strain. Every 20 minutes, look at something about 20 feet away for 20 seconds. You can set a reminder on your phone or get the free app Eyecare 20 20 20.
  3. Quit Smoking. Smoking dramatically increases your risk of developing cataracts and AMD. Smoking destroys the delicate blood vessels that support your eyes. Once they’re gone, so is your eyesight. It also triggers widespread inflammation and a tsunami of free radicals throughout your body (including your eyes), leading to permanent blindness.
  4. Exercise. Keeping fit helps your eyes and your overall health. Some diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and, dramatically increase the risk of damage to tiny blood vessels and fat deposits (AMD) in the eyes.
  5. Add eye-healthy foods to your meal planning. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and flaxseed, are highly recommended for better eye health. Add lots of colorful vegetables and fruit to your diet, including:
  • carrots
  • red peppers
  • broccoli
  • spinach
  • strawberries
  • sweet potato
  • citrus
  1. Include quality supplements that support eye health and vision. As we get older, we need fewer calories but more nutrients. This means that many seniors don’t get enough proper nutrients, and deficiencies can lead to health concerns, including vision loss. Studies prove the following have powerful benefits to support healthy eyes and more.
  • Vitamin C – Vision’s superhero! This essential vitamin helps form connective tissue and collagen found in the cornea of the eye. Studies show that a daily dose of 500mg of Vitamin C may reduce the risk of cataracts and macular-caused vision loss.7 8 9
  • Vitamin E – Antioxidant diva! Vitamin E is known to lower the risk of cataracts and support healthy macula of the eye. Research shows it protects the eye from free radical damage that breaks down healthy eye tissue.10 11 12 13 14 15
  • Zinc – Vital for healthy vision! Zinc plays a vital role in delivering Vitamin A from the liver to the retina. It helps produce the pigment melanin that protects the eyes. The eye has high concentrations of Zinc, especially in the retina and choroid, the tissue layer beneath the retina teaming with delicate vessels. Zinc helps support these eye tissues.16 17
  • Copper – Critical copper! Copper is essential for enzyme reactions by the nervous system. A copper deficiency can cause problems for the eye’s nerves, resulting in vision loss.18 19 Zinc supplements interfere with copper absorption, so it’s strongly recommended that people taking Zinc should also take Copper.20 21 22 23
  • Bilberry – Antioxidant bounty! Bilberries contain flavonoid anthocyanins, which are potent antioxidants. These antioxidants help reduce the risk of cataracts and damage to the macula, and vision loss. They help maintain healthy corneas and blood vessels in the eye. Bilberries also reduce immunity markers that can cause inflammatory eye diseases.24 25 26 27 28
  • Eyebright Extract – Eye nutrient powerhouse! Eyebright (aptly named) is used in herbal medicine to treat eye infections and eyestrain. Packed with eye and vision-supporting nutrients, including Vitamins A, B1, B6, C, and E, Zinc, Selenium, Copper, the antioxidant Quercetin, and the flavonoid Rutin. Studies show that 50% of Eyebright contains tannins that support healthy immune responses, reduces mucus secretion, improves tissue firmness, and relieve irritation. Vitamin B1 is critical to eye metabolism. Zinc, Selenium, and Copper help support healthy retinas and lenses.29 30 31 32 33
  • Lutein – The eye vitamin! Lutein (loo-teen) is a carotenoid with strong antioxidants found in the color pigment located in the eye. It protects your eyes and retina from damaging sun rays and modulates inflammatory levels. In addition, Lutein is known to improve or even prevent damage to the macula due to aging, which is the leading cause of blindness and vision impairment. Studies show that 10mg of Lutein is effective for healthy vision!34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50
  • Zeaxanthin – Your internal sunglasses! Like Lutein, Zeaxanthin (zee-uh-zan-thin) is a powerful antioxidant found in the eye. Zeaxanthin helps keep the eye’s lenses and retina clear of oxidative damage. It also filters harmful high-energy blue light and helps protect and maintain healthy cells in the eyes. You can get Lutein and Zeaxanthin from foods. However, sometimes preparation methods or poor absorption make it difficult to get sufficient levels. The American Optometric Association suggests 2mg of Zeaxanthin supplements is a great asset.51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66

Find a quality supplement that combines several or all of these eye-supporting and vision-enhancing ingredients. These tips help ensure your windows to the world remain crystal clear and protect your independence in your golden years!

References:

  1. https://www.allaboutvision.com/en-ca/over60/vision-changes/
  2. https://www.allaboutvision.com/en-ca/over60/vision-changes/
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/cataract#symptoms
  4. https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/macular-degeneration/age-related-macular-degeneration-overview
  5. https://visionsource.com/blog/how-does-uv-light-affect-eyesight/
  6. https://www.karger.com/Article/Fulltext/453542
  7. https://www.allaboutvision.com/nutrition/vitamin_c.htm
  8. https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/diet-and-nutrition/vitamin-c#:~:text=Benefits%20to%20Eye%20Health,blood%20vessels%20in%20the%20eye.
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3693724/
  10. https://www.eyesiteonwellness.com/improving-eyesight-with-a-capital-e-the-little-known-benefits-of-a-vitamin/
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3693724/
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4188222/
  13. https://tahomaclinic.com/Research/Abstracts/Bilberry1.html
  14. https://med-fom-urlgsci.sites.olt.ubc.ca/files/2008/09/supplements-revised-2008.pdf
  15. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminE-HealthProfessional/
  16. https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/diet-and-nutrition/zinc
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3693724/
  18. http://www.ajnr.org/content/27/10/2112
  19. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/copper-deficiency-symptoms#TOC_TITLE_HDR_10
  20. https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/diet-and-nutrition/zinc
  21. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3693724/
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  23. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20451943/
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  25. https://tahomaclinic.com/Research/Abstracts/Bilberry1.html
  26. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf034132y#:~:text=Cyanidin%203%2Dglycosides%2C%20glucoside%20and,delphinidins%20showed%20no%20significant%20effect.&text=It%20was%20concluded%20that%20the,on%20the%20regeneration%20of%20rhodopsin.
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  48. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26720458/
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  69. https://www.macular.org/drusen
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