It’s no surprise that as we age our eyesight loss begins to start. There are a number of age-related changes that can affect your eyesight and some changes may be more serious than others. Seniors can deal with a number of common eye problems such as presbyopia and cataracts that can impact a person’s eyesight.
Luckily, there are a number of different ways that you can improve and protect your eyesight.
How To Protect Your Eyesight
One of the best ways to protect your eyesight is to get them checked regularly by an optometrist. People over the age of 60 should have dilated eye exams every year. During an eye exam, the eye professional will put drops into the eye to help widen your pupils so that they can look at the back of each eye. This is one of the only ways that you will learn about common eye diseases that have no early signs or symptoms. Similarly, if you have glasses or contact lenses, your prescription should be checked regularly.
It should also be noted that your doctor regularly to check for diseases that can cause eye problems such as diabetes and high blood pressure. See an eye care specialist if you are dealing with symptoms such as:
- Sudden blurriness
- Flashes of light
- Eye pain
- Double vision
- Redness or swelling of the eyes
It should also be noted that a lot of eyesight health is a result of genetics and family history. Because of this, it is important to understand your family history to know if you are at a higher risk for developing an eye disease or condition. If this is the case, you may want to go in for more frequent check-ups.
Common Eye Problems
There are numerous eye problems that can occur from aging. Many of these can be easily treated but sometimes they can be signs of more serious issues.
Presbyopia — Presbyopia is the slow loss of ability to see close objects or small print. This is a normal problem with aging and getting older. People with presbyopia generally have headaches or strained, tired eyes. Reading glasses can usually fix the problem.
Floaters — Floaters are tiny specks that float across your vision throughout the day. People with floaters will see them in well-lit rooms or outdoors on a bright day. Floaters can be a normal part of aging. However, sometimes floaters can be a sign of a more serious eye problem. If you or a loved one experience this issue, see an eye care professional as soon as possible.
Tearing — Tearing up or have too many tears can come from sensitivity to light, wind, or temperature changes. It can also occur from having dry eyes. Wearing sunglasses can help with these issues. However, tearing can be a sign of a more serious issue such as infection or a blocked tear duct.
Cataracts — a cataract is a clouding in the lens of the eye that can affect vision. Most cataracts are related to aging and are very common among older people. In fact, more than half of all Americans either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery.
These are just a few of the common vision problems that older adults may run into. There are some lifestyle changes that you can make to improve eyesight and vision health.
Tips For Improving Vision Health
There are a number of quick and easy things that you can do in your life to make promote healthy vision. Some tips for improving vision health include:
Quit Smoking — Smoking is bad for your entire body, including your eyes. According to the National Institutes on Health, research has linked smoking to an increased risk of problems like cataracts, optic nerve damage, and more. Eventually these problems can lead to blindness.
Eat Right — There are a number of different foods that you can eat to promote vision health. For example, most people have heard that carrots are good for your eyes. This is true, eating a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, especially spinach, kale, and other leafy dark greens can help keep your eyes healthy. Research has also shown that eating fish like salmon, tuna, and halibut can all provide eye health benefits.
Wear Sunglasses — Sunglasses are meant to protect the eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. When purchasing sunglasses look for ones that block out 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B rays.
Give Your Eyes A Rest — In this day and age, it is hard to avoid screens as nearly everyone has a smartphone, tablet, computer, or all three. Unfortunately, these devices can all negatively impact your eyesight, especially if you are using them a lot. The NIH recommends the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look away about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds. This is a good way that you can reduce eyestrain.
While eyesight changes and problems can be common, there are things that you can do to help protect your vision. With that said, sometimes these eyesight changes and problems can prove to be too much of an impediment and may interfere with a person’s ability to perform day-to-day tasks.
For seniors, eyesight loss is important to prevent, but age can lead to a number of vision problems. If you or a loved one is dealing with eyesight issues, it may be best to seek out the help of an assisted living facility or a caregiver. Luckily, there are a number of different assisted living facilities that are prepared to help. Landmark Senior Living is one assisted living facilities that has dedicated staff that are prepared to give your loved one the quality of care that they need. Landmark can offer your loved one access to a number of care services including memory care to help those dealing with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
If you are interested in learning more about what Landmark Senior Living can offer your or your loved one, please visit our website and schedule a free tour of one of our assisted living facilities in New Mexico.