By 2020, 3 million senior Americans will have their sight robbed by a bandit known as macular degeneration. (That’s up from today’s 1.75 million!) This progressive condition begins with a clouding in the center of one’s visual field and works its way out until its victim becomes visually impaired at best, or blind at worst.

While this disease will not likely make its presence known until our 7th or 8th decade of life, it has its origin in the lifestyles of our youth. Years of abuse and neglect of the two eyes we’ve been given add up until we finally tip the scale towards darkness.

If you and I do not actively protect our eyes today, we jeopardize our future vision.  So, how can we become more eye-conscious as we move through life?

Here’s what’s needed:

1. Wear eye protection from the sun. (This is especially critical for light-eyed individuals like me.) Hats with a broad brim are good, sunglasses—even better, sunglasses with polarized lenses—the best!

2. Exercise. Say what?!? Yes, it’s true; anything that enhances your body’s circulation will increase the blood flow to your eyes.

3. Eat a rainbow. Fruits and vegetables high in carotenoids—specifically lutein—will protect your eyes against sun damage. Lutein-packed foods include spinach, tomatoes, red/orange/yellow peppers, and egg yolks.

4. If you’ve been reading my tips for a while, you are aware that whenever our bodies experience damage/aging (oxidation), antioxidants are the go-to fix. So generously indulge in foods which are high in antioxidants such as berries, citrus, broccoli, etc.

5. Make sure you have an adequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids. This can be achieved through a diet which includes cold water fish, walnuts, flax meal, and eggs, or you can “cheat” and take a supplement of fish or krill oil—like I do—for days when my omega-3 intake isn’t up to par.

With eye-care like this, I can see into your future…and it sure looks bright!