Do you stay on top of your vision? If you are like many people, you may not — at least not until you realize there is a problem with your eyesight. Whether you are having problems with your vision now or you just want to figure out what you can do to reduce your risk of developing vision issues in the future, here are three reasons why your vision may not be up to speed.
1. You Spend Too Much Time Indoors
Research shows that sales of eyeglasses are expected to double between 2012 and 2026. More people are being diagnosed with nearsightedness (myopia), and one suggested reason is a lack of exposure to the sun.
According to Bloomberg Opinion, in the 1970s, nearly one-fourth of 25- to 34-year-old Americans had myopia; however, by the early 2000s, this number nearly doubled to almost 45 percent. Research proposes that five billion people across the world will be diagnosed with nearsightedness by 2050, which is up 25 percent from 2000.
Evidence suggests that one reason for this increase is due to people spending too much time indoors and not enough time outside. This is particularly true with children. Children who spend more time outside are less likely to be diagnosed with myopia.
However, keep in mind that while outdoor activities can help prevent nearsightedness, research does not show that the outdoors can slow myopia progression after it develops.
2. You Have a Vitamin D Deficiency
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common eye disease that results in damage to the macula, which is a very small area near the center of the eye's retina and is responsible for the sharp, central vision. AMD is the leading cause of adult blindness, and it affects roughly 8.5 million individuals in the U.S. who are 40 years of age or older.
There are many factors that can increase one's risk of developing AMD, such as age, smoking, gender, and weight. However, you can possibly reduce your risk of developing the eye disease, according to research. One study has shown that women under the age of 75 with sufficient vitamin D levels can reduce their risk of developing AMD by 59 percent.
You can take a vitamin D supplement, or you can opt to consume vitamin D naturally. Vitamin D can be found in numerous foods such as fish, mushrooms, whole milk, yogurt, orange juice, pork, margarine, and eggs.
3. You Have Diabetes
Macular edema refers to the buildup of fluid within the macula as a result of broken blood vessels located at the back of your eye. If this condition is left untreated, it could result in partial and complete blindness.
Diabetes is considered the primary cause of this condition, though there are other causes of macular edema, including multiple sclerosis and cancer. When your blood sugar levels are high, it can result in a condition known as diabetic macular edema (DME).
While one of the first symptoms that you will experience with macular edema is blurry vision, this symptom is also one of the first signs that you may be developing diabetes in the first place. So, make sure to keep an eye for blurry vision.
Unfortunately, there aren't any tried and true prevention methods for macular edema. The best thing you can do is lead a healthy lifestyle, eat lots of colorful fruits and vegetables, exercise regularly, and visit your eye doctor annually for a comprehensive eye exam to catch problems early on.
To learn more about your vision or to schedule your annual comprehensive eye exam, contact the professionals at Calvery Ophthalmology Center.