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Healthy Aging for the Eyes

Getting old doesn’t have to be synonymous with vision loss. There is a lot you can do to keep your eyes and vision healthy and prevent age related eye disease and vision loss, especially if you start early. Keeping your eyes healthy and strong may require some lifestyle changes, but the good news is that these improvements will contribute to your overall health and wellness, not just your eyes.

There are a number of ocular diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy that primarily affect older adults, which can cause impaired vision and even blindness. Sometimes, they are caused by an accumulation of a lifetime of unhealthy habits; changing these poor habits may be the best form of prevention.

Dr. Emil Chynn, who received his MD from Columbia Medical School, his residency in ophthalmology from Harvard, his Fellowship in Cornea and Refractive Surgery from Emory, and his MBA from NYU, gives some great tips on how to avoid visual loss as you age!

Here are some of the most critical lifestyle risk factors for eye disease, and what you can do to reduce your risks.

Diet

Eating healthy is about much more than weight loss. Nutritious foods give your body the ability to fight disease and function optimally. On the other hand, what you put in your body can also cause disease, inflammation, and upset your body’s homeostasis. Choose a healthy, balanced diet: it’s never too late.

Sugar, processed foods and unhealthy fats can increase your risk for eye disease and many other diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. In contrast, colorful fruits and vegetables, particularly greens, can help to fight and prevent these same diseases. In fact, studies show that people who eat a healthy diet full of greens, healthy fats (such as Omega-3s) and proteins, and a variety of foods full of vitamins and minerals (such as antioxidants like lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamins A and C) have reduced occurrence of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cataracts and macular degeneration.

Try to eat a diet of at least 5-9 servings a day of fruits and vegetables rich and varied in natural color to get the most nutrients. Reduce your intake of sugar, refined grains (such as white bread and pasta) and processed foods and drinks. Eat mostly whole grains and real, natural foods as much as possible and drink plenty of water.

If you eat a healthy, balanced diet, you can usually avoid the need for taking expensive vitamins or supplements!

Ultraviolet (UV) and Blue Light Exposure

More and more studies are showing that extended exposure to UV and blue light emissions correlate to increased incidences of eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration. To avoid this, all you need is some proper eye protection. 100% UV blocking sunglasses should be worn each time you go outside (rain or shine) and, if you work on a computer or use an electronic device for at a couple of hours a day or more, it’s worthwhile investing in blue-light blocking computer glasses. There are also some filters and apps available to reduce blue-light exposure from digital devices and screens, although these are of marginal use, as such devices are regulated by the government, so they do not typically emit harmful levels of UV light, anyway. It is much more important to wear sunglasses and a hat with a brim when going outside in bright sunlight, to reduce UV exposure, which is a major cause of cataracts, pinguecula, pterygium, and macular degeneration.

Smoking

We all know that smoking is bad for you, and eye disease is just another way it can have a negative impact on your health. Studies show that smoking increases the risk of dry eye syndrome, cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration as well as diabetic retinopathy.

Dr. Chynn wrote the chapter about the many varied harmful effects of smoking on the eyes for the American Council on Science and Health (ASCH), for which he has been a Scientific Advisor for twenty years, so is an authority on all the ways that smoking can harm your eyes over a period of years.

Sedentary Lifestyle

Once again, what is healthy for your body, is healthy for your eyes. Studies correlate regular exercise with lower risk of age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts and diabetic eye disease. Working a regular exercise routine into your schedule is important for your health and longevity. Being more active in your daily life can help too – walking up and down the steps in your house a few times, taking the stairs instead of an elevator or parking farther away from your destination are easy and free ways to incorporate physical activity into your everyday life. Additionally, individuals with diabetes who exercise regularly show less development of diabetic retinopathy. The recommended guidelines for diabetics (and most individuals) are a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise per week such as 30 minutes five times a week or three sessions of 50 minutes each. Exercise increases bloodflow throughout your entire body, including to your brain and your eyes, which is supposed to be the mechanism for how exercise can help maintain and even improve eye health!

Preventative Care (Regular Eye Exam)

Vision threatening eye diseases can often be caught and treated early, preventing further vision loss and sometimes even reversing damage. This is where annual comprehensive eye exams are key. You don’t want to wait until you have symptoms to get checked by your eye doctor because many eye diseases don’t present any signs until vision is lost and it is too late to fully recover. A yearly comprehensive eye exam can detect slight changes in your eye that could indicate a developing problem. Early detection can dramatically improve your chances for restored eye health and vision preservation.

When it comes to eye health, awareness and actions for prevention can have a huge impact on reducing your risks. Don’t wait until it is too late. Even small steps toward a healthier lifestyle can make a difference to your future eye health.

Dr. Chynn published the authoritative article on the value of the annual eye exam in Ophthalmology when he was at Harvard University’s Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary, where he established that all adults should have an annual eye exam every 2 years even if they have no symptoms and don’t wear glasses or contacts, and any adult with any eye condition or in glasses or contacts should get an annual eye exam every year. He also proved that it is actually beneficial to insurance companies to cover these visits, as they can then pick up and treat eye diseases in the early stage, when it is easier and cheaper to treat. As a result of this article, insurance companies such as Aetna, Oxford, UHC, and BCBC started to pay for annual eye exams, even if you have a high deductible! So we all owe some thanks to Dr. Chynn for promoting eye health in America!

No other laser vision correction surgeon in New York….

No other laser vision correction surgeon in New York....

...offers you the opportunity to have a Free Remote Consultation with the surgeon! Ask Dr. Chynn your main question or concern, and will answer, personally, within 2 business days!

Unsure whether you're a good candidate because of a lot of astigmatism? Large pupils? Dry eyes? Maybe you were rejected by LASIK surgeons due to a “thin cornea” or high prescription.

Take advantage of this incredible opportunity to find out if LASEK is an option for you from Dr. Chynn, our famous, cornea fellowship-trained, Columbia & Harvard graduate who’s in MENSA & was the 1st eye surgeon in NY, NJ, CT & PA to get LASIK, & has performed 1,000 PRKs, 5,000 LASIKs, 10,000 LASEKs, and 5,000 epiLASEKs

But please be considerate. Dr. Chynn gets paid $1,000/hour as a consultant for expert networks & expert witness, so please limit yourself to your most pressing question or concern, as he’s doing this for free on a trial basis to help interested patients.

Please include the information below in your email so Dr. Chynn can answer your question specifically.

Age:
Approximate prescription (if known):
Occupation (the more specific the better):
Main barrier or concern:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Tell Dr. Chynn your main barrier so he can help overcome it😉👌

Email us at dr@ParkAvenueLASEK.com
Text us at (212) 691-4221

Contact Dr. Chynn

x

Tell Dr. Chynn your main barrier so he can help overcome it😉👌 Email us at dr@ParkAvenueLASEK.com Text us at (212) 691-4221

No other laser vision correction surgeon in New York….

No other laser vision correction surgeon in New York....

...offers you the opportunity to have a Free Remote Consultation with the surgeon! Ask Dr. Chynn your main question or concern, and will answer, personally, within 2 business days!

Unsure whether you're a good candidate because of a lot of astigmatism? Large pupils? Dry eyes? Maybe you were rejected by LASIK surgeons due to a “thin cornea” or high prescription.

Take advantage of this incredible opportunity to find out if LASEK is an option for you from Dr. Chynn, our famous, cornea fellowship-trained, Columbia & Harvard graduate who’s in MENSA & was the 1st eye surgeon in NY, NJ, CT & PA to get LASIK, & has performed 1,000 PRKs, 5,000 LASIKs, 10,000 LASEKs, and 5,000 epiLASEKs

But please be considerate. Dr. Chynn gets paid $1,000/hour as a consultant for expert networks & expert witness, so please limit yourself to your most pressing question or concern, as he’s doing this for free on a trial basis to help interested patients.

Please include the information below in your email so Dr. Chynn can answer your question specifically.

Age:
Approximate prescription (if known):
Occupation (the more specific the better):
Main barrier or concern:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.