The first thing people look at when they have a conversation with you is your eyes because they are windows into your soul. But, as we all know, age takes a toll on them after a while. You have to be especially diligent to take care of your eyes over 50 to avoid problems that can affect everything from driving safely to your balance. Updated 1/2021
I’ve spent a lot of time at the optometrist. It’s hard to believe that I’ve worn contacts for over 50 years? I started wearing them when I was 14 and have gone through every iteration of them from hard contacts to the most high-tech soft ones.
One eye disease we all need to look out for is age-related macular degeneration because it can eventually cause total blindness. You should also check for cataracts and glaucoma, which are common as we age.
Because taking care of your eyes over 50 is so important, I wanted to offer 7 tips to keep them bright and sharp as you age.
1. Make sure you have vision Insurance
Some medical insurance plans, including Medicare, don’t include vision care. If yours doesn’t make sure to buy a vision insurance plan to cover your yearly eye exams and any problems that may arise. If you’ve avoided the eye doctor because your vision is sharp, you still need a yearly checkup for potential eye diseases before they become a problem. I bought a VSP individual vision plan and wrote a blog post about it with more details here.
2. As we get older our eyes start to dry out
You’ve probably seen commercials on TV about dry eye syndrome. It’s a common condition for menopausal women and can cause your eyes to become inflamed, red, and sensitive to light. Have your eyes checked out and use eye drops for dry eyes or eye wipes.
Avenova is a product that not only helps with dry eye but also relieves irritation from contact lens wear and other types of inflammation. It’s made with pure 0.01% Hypochlorous Acid that is patented and FDA approved. What’s unique about it is that it’s packaged in a glass bottle to prevent plastic leaching that can be irritating to your eyes.
It’s completely safe to use even if you wear contacts. You can use it twice a day. Spray it directly on your closed eyelids or on a cotton pad and then gently wipe your eyelids. The product is all-natural, antimicrobial, non-toxic, and hypoallergenic. Avenova is available on Amazon here.
3. Using electronics all day can affect how you sleep
Kids aren’t the only ones online all day. Baby Boomers are too and this can have an effect on your eyes that will keep you up at night. It may be a good idea to wear blue-blocking glasses when you’re at your computer or reading from your Kindle. Swanick makes glasses with blue-light protections that are the most scientifically-validated blue blockers on the market. Give them a try.
4. Take a supplement for optimal eye health
My optometrist recommends Bausch & Lomb Ocuvite with Lutein as a supplement for eye health. It’s a combination of vitamins and nutrients that help prevent macular degeneration by filtering out harmful blue light. If you sit in front of a computer for hours it’s also a good idea to take it. It contains lutein, zeaxanthin, omega 3’s, DHA & EPA, Vitamins C, E, & Zinc. You can get those nutrients from certain foods but you would have to eat a ton of them.
5. Avoid sun damage by always wearing sunglasses outside
The sun is damaging not only to our skin but also to our eyes. In addition to causing cataracts, exposure to both visible light and UV radiation may also cause the gradual degeneration of the retina, damage to the cornea, and pterygium (an overgrowth of the conjunctiva). Sunglasses that block 100 percent of UV rays will give you the best protection. Sunglasses aren’t just for sunny days, either.
You can damage your eyes even when it’s overcast and snowing. And, contrary to what many people believe, the color of the lens doesn’t make a difference when it comes to protecting you from UV rays. Amber works just as well as charcoal as long as they have 100% UV protection.
6. Save money on glasses
Good eye care over 50 means wearing quality eyeglasses, contacts (if you wear them), and sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun. That can be costly, and as we get older most of us want to save our money for retirement or to have fun traveling. The sites below will give you great bargains on all of your eye care needs.
- Warby Parker – I bought a pair of Warby Parker eyeglasses and loved the entire buying experience, not to mention the beautiful glasses I received. You can read a blog post I wrote about purchasing my Warby Parker’s here. They have a Home Try-On Program and you can try out 5 for free. The whole process was seamless. The best part is that Warby Parker gives back to non-profits with every purchase.
- Eyeconic – This company works with over 40,000 eye doctors and offers contacts, prescription eyeglasses, and sunglasses. They can also refer you to an eye doctor in your area. Eyeconic offers top designer brands of eyewear like Chloe, BeBe, Lacoste, & Ferragamo. They accept VSP, METLIFE, and CIGNA VISION benefits. And the best part is Eyeconic offers a 10% Senior Discount on all their products.
7. Give your aging eyes a youthful glow with eye creams, gel, and serums
I know from experience that wearing contacts adds extra wrinkles around your eyes especially if you rub them when they’re irritated. Having an effective eye cream helps keep your eye area supple and smooth. There are so many to choose from but some are better than others.
Their effectiveness also depends on your skin’s unique chemistry and whether or not you are sensitive to certain ingredients. Sometimes an all-natural eye product can be more irritating than those that are not. Below are a few I particularly like.
- Neutrogena Hydro-Boost gel- cream for the eye – I found this to be an excellent eye treatment that doesn’t irritate my sensitive eyes. It feels great going on and keeps my eye area moisturized for hours. It’s lightweight but nourishes my dry skin immediately.
- AHAVA– Time to Revitalize Extreme Firming Eye Cream – I love the ingredients in this eye cream – Tibetan Goji Berries, Himalayan Raspberry Root, Red Algae, Pearlescent Mica, and Cetraria Islandia Lichen. It also has a blend of AHAVA’s patented Osmoter™ and Dead Sea Minerals. You’ll love it!
- Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Eye Serum – If you’re seriously lacking hydration in your eye area, you’ll want to try this eye serum. It’s made to brighten your eyes over 50 and give them a more youthful look. Its main ingredient is a time-released Retinol. You can use it in conjunction with Murad’s Renewing Eye Cream.
Do you have a favorite eye cream? Please leave a comment below because we’d all love to know about it.
8. Eat foods that will keep your eyes healthy and sharp
According to Health Line, the 7 Best Foods for Healthy Eyes to prevent cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, dry eyes, and poor night vision are:
Fish, eggs, almonds, dairy, (yogurt) carrots, kale, and oranges. You may also want to include whole grains, berries, legumes, and sunflower seeds.
Here’s to taking care of your eyes over 50. Have a carrot on me!
How do you keep your eyes shining bright? Please leave a comment below.