Whether you are new to the sport of running or you are a seasoned athlete, it takes effort to put one foot in front of the other. To maximize performance, most runners try to be comfortable during what can be an uncomfortable endeavour by wearing moisture wicking fabrics, good shoes and socks. Then, there are the gadgets, like fitness bands such as the Fitbit and Apple watch, which can help guide you towards your personal best.
Yet, none of this matters if you can’t read the tiny screens or worse, not notice obstacles or other dangers around you because of condensation on your glasses or because your vision is no longer sharp. You may have noticed that you are having trouble seeing clearly, despite perfect conditions. As you age, your eyes become weaker, regardless if you are maintaining good overall health.
Presbyopia—a common eye health problem
If you are having difficulty focusing on small objects such as your fitness tracker or smart phone, you may have developed presbyopia, which often occurs around age 40 due to a gradual loss of the eye’s ability to focus on close objects and which affects nearly 1.7 billion people.
Presbyopia Symptoms include:
– Frequent eye strain or headaches
– Difficulty seeing in dim light
– Difficulty focusing on small objects or words
– Experiencing fatigue after doing close work
How to prevent presbyopia
Although there is no real way to prevent presbyopia, since it’s just natural aging of the eyes, it is important to remember to protect your eyes from strong light and UV rays by wearing proper sunglasses.
Another way to keep your eyes strong and healthy is by eating “eye healthy” foods such as:
– Green leafy vegetables (spinach and kale)
– Cold-water fish (salmon, tuna and mackerel)
– Citrus fruit
– Orange foods high in Vitamin A and C (carrots, pumpkin and cantaloupe)
– Nuts and beans
Get a clearer picture of your eye health
One way to offer relief for those with presbyopia is by wearing multifocal contact lenses. The lenses are allowing Canadians to see everything near, far and everywhere in between. These lenses can replace the glasses you would normally need to wear while working out or going for a run, taking away the challenge of wearing glasses while exercising.
According to the Age of Perception Impact study, 30% of aging Canadians surveyed that they would rather wear contact lenses than glasses, 16% would rather squint than wear reading glasses and 19% agree they currently avoid wearing reading glasses because they believe it would make them look older.
Using your smart watch or other fitness tracker to keep track of your workouts is a good way to monitor overall health. If you notice any difficulties reading your wearable device or small print in general, it may be an indicator that you are experiencing presbyopia. For more information about presbyopia and multifocal contact lenses, please visit your optometrist.