Men are less at risk of developing vision-impairing diseases.
Because men don’t experience the same intense hormonal changes as women, vision loss is less common. That being said, this doesn’t mean that vision loss is uncommon.
Vision loss among men, especially in old age, still happens fairly often due to diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
It may be less common, but men, you still need to be careful. Here, we’ll talk about the eye damaging dangers you face and how your risk can be significantly reduced. Just follow these tips.
Keep an Eye on Diabetes
Researchers have found that men are more likely to develop Type II diabetes. Where there is diabetes, there’s a risk of diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy affects the retina of the eye by damaging the blood vessels. This disease can cause the vessel to leak and cause permanent vision damage and loss.
Even if you have diabetes, diabetic retinopathy can be avoided. The best way to avoid it is actually quite simple. It really just comes down to regulating and monitoring your blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
To keep your blood sugar levels under control, here’s a helpful check list of things to do:
Eat a healthy diet filled with immune boosting and eye-friendly foods
Check your blood sugar regularly and take your prescribed medications accordingly
Surprisingly, a lot of people have trouble sticking to the last bullet point, despite it being the most important one. There’s a reason why these medications and procedures exist. It’s because diabetes can be a dangerous disease if not looked after. Don’t risk losing your eyesight.
Blood Pressure and Vision Loss in Men
As for controlling your blood pressure, there are a few easy lifestyle changes you can adopt. However, if you already have high blood pressure or develop it in the future, your best bet is to talk to your doctor about the severity of your condition. You may need to take blood pressure medication.
If your blood pressure is in a normal range and you’d like to keep it there, here are some tips:
Watch your waistline – men are at risk of high blood pressure if their waist measurement exceeds 40 inches
Lower your sodium intake
Reduce stress and find some time to relax after a hectic day
Avoiding diabetic retinopathy is as easy as making a few tweaks in your daily routine! It’ll be worth it when you’re 80 years old and the only one of your friends who can still see the TV without glasses.
Know Your Family’s Medical History
You’d be surprised at how many eye conditions are genetic. Colorblindness, for example, is a condition that is often inherited by men through a specific gene that many women carry.
Glaucoma is a disease that affects the pressure within the eyeball and gradually leads to partial or complete blindness. Symptoms of glaucoma often include decreased night vision and seeing halos or a light glow around objects and people.
Glaucoma is a very serious disease that can be treated but not cured just yet. Treatments normally consist of special eye drops or medications that help alleviate the pressure in the eye. This also helps prevent future optic nerve damage.
If glaucoma runs in your family, more frequent eye scans and eye tests will need to take place. The frequency depends on the state of your eyes and whether or not they seem to be developing glaucoma. Even if you do end up developing it, an early detection can help to slow down the progress of the disease and preserve your vision for longer.
Knowing your family history isn’t the only way you can protect yourself against glaucoma.
Here are a few other measures you can take:
Regular and moderate exercise can reduce the pressure in the eye.
Get a comprehensive eye exam every four years, then every two years after the age of 40.
Wear proper eye protection. A ball or racket to the eye can heighten eye pressure and cause glaucoma.
Talk to your doctor about your family’s medical history and what steps you can take to prevent history from repeating itself.
Slow Down AMD
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is something that will affect almost everyone after a certain age. AMD is a natural part of aging for the eye, just like wrinkles are for the face.
AMD affects the macula of the eye, which is smack in the middle. When the macula begins to deteriorate and is left untreated, you’ll start to lose your central vision. Unfortunately, the damage is irreversible.
Never fear, there are way to slow the progress of AMD. The younger you start, the longer you’ll be able to hold off the disease. Here are some ways you can do that:
Stop smoking/don’t start smoking
Maintain a healthy weight
Eat leafy greens and other foods high in vitamin A
Protect your eyes from UV rays (the sun speeds up the aging process of the eye)
AMD doesn’t have to be a scary disease that you know is waiting for you in your old age. Slow it down and prevent it by taking care of your eyes and your entire body as a whole. As you probably noticed, exercise and weight are huge factors in preventing the three diseases we covered today.
Take care of your eyes and go for regular eye exams to prevent permanent vision loss. Once it’s gone, it’s gone for good.