You've been holding the newspaper a mile away from your face... wearing dark sunglasses even on cloudy days... and carrying a pocket flashlight to settle your restaurant tabs.
When you're on the older side and your vision isn't what it used to be, you've got to compensate with a few tricks up your sleeve!
But if changes to your vision become more serious -- whether it's from cataracts, glaucoma, or age-related macular degeneration -- you can't wave a magic wand to restore your sight.
And according to a new study, visual impairment can steal more than just your ability to see the world clearly -- it may also threaten your precious memories.
That's because the more your sight declines, the more likely it is that your cognitive function will decline, too.
In a study published in JAMA Ophthalmology, researchers gave visual and cognitive tests to a group of older folks four times over the course of eight years.
Now, as you might expect, all of the participants experienced some amount of visual and cognitive decline, given the passage of time.
But those who had the most visual impairment scored WORSE on cognitive tests than those who had the least.
And when the researchers analyzed the association between these two factors, they found that vision's influence on cognitive function was almost TWICE as strong as cognition's influence on vision.
In other words, it's twice as likely that poor eyesight leads to "brain drain" than the other way around.
The theory is that when you can't see as well as you used to, key areas of your brain don't experience enough stimulation.
And much in the same way that hearing loss can cause your gray matter to shrink, vision loss may also compromise regions of your brain related to memory.
Plus, when you can't see very well, it can put a damper on your social life… which is a risk factor for cognitive decline, too.
So, if you want to stay sharp as a tack, do everything you can to maintain sharp vision.
Since both cataracts and age-related macular degeneration have been linked to high blood sugar, switching to the Paleo (a.k.a. "caveman") diet -- which keeps blood sugar steady by eliminating all sugars, grains, and processed foods -- is an easy way to slash your risk of these conditions.
The dark leafy greens, fish, nuts, and fruits you'll be eating on the diet are also loaded with nutrients that are essential for eye health, like lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, and selenium.
And those dark leafy greens can also reduce your risk of glaucoma -- because they're rich in nitrate, which your body converts to nitric oxide, a chemical that boosts blood flow to every nook and cranny, including your eyeballs.
These healthy habits just so happen to shield your brain from dementia, too!
I’m taking a deep dive into this topic and will be covering it in the next issue of my Nutrition & Healing newsletter, coming in early September. But don’t wait until then to start supporting your vision!