Easy on the Eyes
As people age it is not uncommon to experience vision changes. Even if you enjoy good vision now or did when you were younger, taking care of your eyes is vital to your overall health and wellbeing. While it is normal to encounter some visual changes, such as difficulty adjusting to glare or trouble distinguishing shades of color, vision loss is not a normal part of aging.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, some of the more common changes in vision you may notice with age include:
- Your eyes take longer to adjust and focus, especially between light and dark.
- Driving may be more difficult, especially at night or in the rain.
- Distinguishing an image from its background, especially when subtle gradations of tone are involved, may become more difficult.
Taking Control of Eye Health
You may be surprised to learn that the health of your eyes is related to many different factors, some of which are in our control. Check out this list and see where you might be able to make some lifestyle changes:
Nutrition – As part of an eye-healthy diet, choose foods rich in antioxidants, like vitamins A and C, such as leafy green vegetables and fish.
Smoking – Avoid smoking which exposes the eyes to an increased risk of a variety of conditions that affect eye health.
Sunlight – When outdoors on a sunny day, wear sunglasses and a hat with a brim to block harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.
Systemic Health Problems – Keep your eye doctor informed about any health conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, that can affect eye health.
Exercise – Regular exercise, including walking, yoga, tai chi and stretching, stimulate good blood circulation and oxygen intake which our eyes need.
Sleep – Getting enough sleep is important because it is then that our eyes enjoy continuous lubrication and clear out irritants such as dust, allergens or smoke that may have accumulated during the day.
At the Computer – Try to reduce the impact of computer eyestrain by keeping your computer screen at a healthy distance from your eyes (20-24 inches), adjusting light to minimize glare and taking a break every 15 minutes to focus on a distant object.
Set Your Sights on Eye Health and Safety
Having regular check-ups with an eye care professional can help you continue to maintain an active lifestyle well into the golden years without ever experiencing vision loss. It’s important to have a complete eye exam every year or two after age 65 to check for age-related eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and other eye conditions such as low vision.
Eye injuries are also a risk in older adults, with about half of all eye injuries occurring in or around the home. If you should experience an eye injury, get immediate medical attention. But to prevent an injury, take some simple steps to reduce the risk of falls, which become more likely as we age due to changes in vision and balance:
- Make sure that rugs and shower/bath/tub mats are slip-proof.
- Secure railings so that they are not loose.
- Cushion sharp corners and edges of furnishings and home fixtures.
Eyesight is a precious treasure throughout life. Safeguard your vision so that you will be seeing into the future for years to come.
The Oscar and Ella Wilf Campus for Senior Living is comprised of Stein Assisted Living, Jaffa Gate Memory Care Neighborhood, Stein Hospice, Wilentz Senior Residence, Wilf Transport, and The Foundation at the Wilf Campus. For more information, contact us at (732) 568-1155, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at www.wilfcampus.org.