How Can Older Adults Protect Their Vision?
As we age, the health of our eyes decline and we may experience an overall reduced ability to see things clearly. There are a handful of common eye problems that are a normal part of aging.
Older adults may experience presbyopia which is the inability to see objects or small print closely. As we get older, our eyes become more sensitive to the elements or temperature changes, causing excess tears or dryness. Some individuals may notice tiny specks, also known as floaters that float across the eye in well-lit rooms or while being outdoors. Others may have eyelid problems such as itching, crusting, redness or swollen eyelids caused by blepharitis. Although these problems can be easily treated, they may be signs of more serious issues.
More serious eye disorders and diseases can lead to vision loss and blindness. Cataracts are cloudy areas in the eye’s lens that cause blurred or hazy vision. If these are not removed, vision will be greatly reduced. Glaucoma is an eye disorder often caused by too much fluid pressure inside the eye. If not treated, it can lead to vision loss and blindness. Retinal disorders including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy and retinal detachment are a leading cause of blindness in the country. Some of these disorders may have few or no early symptoms as well.
One of the most important preventative steps you can do to protect your vision against these diseases and disorders is to have your eyes checked regularly by an eye care professional. Older adults over the age of 60 should have annual dilated eye exams. During the appointment, talk to an ophthalmologist or optometrist about any symptoms or vision issues you have been experiencing. Regular eye exams help detect abnormalities and can prevent loss of vision through treatment, prescriptions or surgery.
Here are a few other helpful tips to keep your eyes healthy as you age:
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from too much sunlight
- Don’t smoke
- Maintain normal blood pressure
- Control diabetes (if you have it)
- Be physically active
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Select healthy foods including leafy, green vegetables and fish
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Take breaks from using digital devices with screens – follow the 20:20:20 Rule (Take a break every 20 minutes to focus on an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds)
For answers to all your aging questions, start with Tabitha. Contact a Senior Care Expert today.