An Eye on Aging: Caring for your Eyes and Dealing with Common Problems

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Posted on: 26 August 2014 by Lindsay Edwards

Your eyes express a lot about who you are and show your joy, love and excitement to the world. They are truly a “window to the soul” as the old saying goes. But the delicate skin around your eyes is one of the first areas to show signs of stress, ageing, sun damage, tiredness, and illness. And vision problems are more likely develop as you age.

Fortunately, there are plenty of nature-based remedies for various eye issues. Getting the proper vitamins and antioxidants is important, and restorative remedies made from plants and herbs, teas, and essential oils can also work magic.

Under-Eye Bags

This condition can develop with age as collagen breaks down and skin cells lose elasticity. This causes the natural fat pad beneath the eye to bulge, and not getting enough sleep exacerbates the problem.

Putting cucumber slices or chilled tea bags (containing caffeine, for the tannins) on your eyes for about 15 minutes helps to absorb excess fluid and tighten skin around the eyes. This is an immediate fix, but adding more vitamin C to your diet, drinking plenty of water, getting proper rest, and using a moisturising eye cream can provide long term relief. Additionally, vitamin A helps to boost collagen production which can help skin around your eyes look firmer. Or there are more 'extreme' options, like this one.

Crow’s Feet

Crow’s feet are another problem caused by the skins diminishing elasticity as you age. Sun exposure can also be a contributing factor. Using an antioxidant cream containing Vitamins C, A, and E can help fight the free radicals caused by sun damage. You may want to use a lighter cream with sun protection for daytime and a heavy moisturising cream at night. As an immediate fix, try sesame oil or aloe vera to hydrate your skin. Liquorice, milk thistle, and chamomile offer natural remedies for reducing inflammation around your eyes.

Decreasing Vision

Most people experience some vision deterioration as they age. Shielding your eyes from ultraviolet rays by wearing sunglasses can protect your eyes somewhat, and exercise can also help by keeping blood vessels in your eyes healthy. It is important to get free eye tests every year to detect any potential problems.

Getting enough of vitamins C, E, and A (for beta carotene) in your diet is very important for eye health. All are antioxidants that can slow deterioration and may decrease your chances of developing cataracts. Zinc and copper, present in green leafy vegetables such as kale and collard greens, can help prevent macular degeneration. The omega-3 fatty acids present in fish can also lower your risk for macular degeneration. You can take supplements for these vitamins and minerals if you suspect you are not getting enough in your diet.

Aging is unavoidable, but you can take action to look and feel your best. Simple steps such as getting enough rest, drinking plenty of water and including the proper vitamins and minerals in your diet will go a long way towards keeping your eyes and surrounding skin in great shape as you get older.

Image: chefranden

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