Care for Your Eyes

You cannot put a price tag on the value of your eyesight. Whether you have 20/20 vision or are experiencing changes in how you see, it’s important to schedule an eye exam and take steps to protect your vision. The benefits of seeing an eye doctor on an annual basis can have a remarkable impact on your health. These screenings can also detect age-related eye problems such as cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma, many of which may show no early signs or symptoms.[1]

In celebration of Healthy Vision Month, here are 5 things you can do to care for your eyes and help with everyday vision changes.

1. Focus on healthy habits.

Maintaining healthy habits can help keep your vision in tip-top shape. The American Optometric Association recommends eating nutrient-rich foods that are loaded with antioxidants to reduce your risk of eye disease. Incorporate vitamin-rich foods like dark green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, nuts and seeds, and sweet potatoes. In addition, Omega-3 fatty acids in fish can help prevent dry eyes and reduce inflammation.[2]

 It’s also generally well known that smoking is bad for you, but did you know that smoking can make you more likely to develop cataracts and age-related macular degeneration?[3] Simply kicking the habit or steering clear of smoke-filled areas can help protect your vision.

2. Light the way to see better.

Bright lighting is important to help you see clearer, especially if you have vision challenges. Use well-placed lighting around your home to ensure there are no obstacles in your way like ottomans, footstools, coffee tables and electrical cords. Keeping your kitchen well-lit can also help to keep it clean and provide more visibility for culinary tasks like cutting and chopping.

Pro tip: Flashlights and handheld lighted magnifiers are great resources to use with daily activities. For example, if you have steps, keep a flashlight at the top and bottom of the stairs to light the way. Lighted magnifiers can also be used for up-close tasks like reading and doing hobbies and crafts of all kinds. These handy tools are generally inexpensive and come in all sizes to fit your needs and circumstances.

3. Reduce your eye strain.

Chances are you’ve experienced some type of eye strain in your lifetime. Keep the strain off your eyes and avoid tasks like reading lots of tiny print, reading in the dark or spending a long period of time reading on a computer screen. According to the Cleveland Clinic, there are easy at-home ways to manage eye strain, including using artificial tears when your eyes feel dry, applying a warm, wet washcloth to tired eyes and using a humidifier, even if your eyes don’t feel dry.[4] In general, eye strain can be treated with simple lifestyle changes; however, prolonged eye strain may be a sign of something more serious so make sure to consult with your doctor.

4. Watch for symptoms.

Changes in vision can happen as you grow older. “Approximately 12 million people 40 years and over in the United States have vision impairment,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).[5] As you age, one of the most frequent vision changes is presbyopia, widely known as the reason for needing reading glasses. It is the gradual loss of ability to focus on nearby objects. Other common vision conditions include age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, glaucoma and dry eye.[6]

While there may be warning signs of vision problems, many conditions are undetectable and may require a dilated eye exam.[7] Knowing your family’s eye health history can also help recognize or treat symptoms quicker. If you notice any issue with your eyes, regardless of how big or small the change is, make an appointment with your eye doctor.

5. Get annual eye exams and wear the right lenses.

Healthy vision is an essential part of seeing things clearly, but it is also necessary for completing activities such as driving and reading. Many people face vision difficulties like nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, but as your eyes age, additional issues could occur. An optometrist or ophthalmologist can give you a comprehensive eye exam that will fine-tune your prescription, identify the individual lens strength and provide safe and effective treatments that can improve your chances of maintaining healthy eyesight.

There are many things you can do to keep seeing your best. Your sight matters, and preventive care can safeguard and prolong your vision.


[1] National Institute on Aging (2021). Aging and Your Eyes.  

[2] American Optometric Association. Diet and Nutrition.

[3] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2022). Vision Loss, Blindness, and Smoking.

[4] Cleveland Clinic (2019). Eye Strain.

[5] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020). Fast Facts of Common Eye Disorders.,due%20to%20uncorrected%20refractive%20error.

[6] Rite Aid (2020). How to Prevent and Treat Common Age-Related Vision Changes.

[7] National Institute on Aging (2021). Aging and Your Eyes.


S7694_22-6908_enewsletter 2022_C Reviewed 05/11/22

Elixir Insurance is a Prescription Drug Plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Elixir Insurance depends on contract renewal. For more information, please call our customer service number at 833-684-7267. TTY users call 711. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. ATTENTION: If you speak Spanish, language assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 833-684-7267 (TTY: 711). ATENCIÓN: si habla Español, los servicios de asistencia lingüística, sin cargo, están disponibles para usted. Llamada 833-684-7267 (TTY: 711).

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Topics: Healthy Choices, Helpful Tips

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