How can I prevent presbyopia?

While you can’t prevent presbyopia any more than you can avoid aging, there are everyday steps you can take to boost your eye health and slow down how fast it gets worse as you age. Keeping your eyes in top shape may also lower your risk for developing other more serious eye problems down the road, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Try these tips for top eye health:

  • Adequate lighting will substantially help reduce eyestrain.
  • Annual eye exams. Your prescription and ocular health can change rapidly, so make sure to see your provider regularly. Discuss with your provider any change in symptoms that could be a sign of something more serious.
  • Keep track of symptoms by writing them down.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet that contains plenty of green leafy vegetables (see below).
  • Exercise several times weekly.
  • Drink enough water to stay hydrated.
  • Limit alcohol.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Wear sunglasses. Shades do more than make you look cool. They protect your delicate eye tissue from harmful UV (ultraviolet) rays.

Which foods should I eat to keep my eyes as healthy as possible?

Your eyes rely on nutrients from the foods you eat to maintain vital eye tissues and functions. In addition to limiting alcohol and caffeine, you should make sure to stay hydrated by drinking enough water.

You should also try to eat foods that are rich in:

  • Vitamin A. You need enough of the antioxidant vitamin A in your diet (or through a supplement) to maintain the surface of your eyes and healthy vision. There are vitamin A-rich sources for every diet preference. Plant-based choices include vegetables like sweet potato, leafy green vegetables and carrots. Or you may choose animal-based foods, such as cheese, oily fish or liver.
  • Vitamin C. The best foods for getting your daily dose of vitamin C are fruits and vegetables, including oranges, grapefruit, strawberries and broccoli.
  • Vitamin E. If you already have AMD, make sure to get enough vitamin E. Studies have shown that this vitamin plays a role in slowing down the disease.
  • Lutein. Eat your leafy green vegetables to make sure you get enough lutein which helps your eyes filter harmful blue light that can damage your retinas.

If you know you aren’t getting the right vitamins because your diet hasn’t included enough healthy foods, you can take a multivitamin instead. Remember though that vitamins that come in a pill are not as well absorbed by the body as those that occur naturally in fresh foods.

A note from Cleveland Clinic:

Aging is a privilege, and privileges rarely come without a price. But when it comes to aging eyes and the ability to see up close, reading glasses, contact lenses or a simple surgery are but a small sacrifice. There are so many sight-correction options today that once you choose what’s right for you, you’ll be able to focus again on all your favorite things in fine detail — whether it’s reading the latest novel, painting your own “Picasso” or sewing a special new outfit.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy