Once we reach the age of 65, it is recommended that we have an eye exam a minimum of once a year. As we age, we are more prone to developing conditions that can impair eyesight – and loss of vision leads to a higher risk of falls and fractures.
Eye problems can happen gradually over time, so you might not notice them yourself at first. An eye exam is the best way to detect and treat eye conditions before they become serious. Many common eye conditions can be corrected early on either through corrective lenses, surgery or other treatments.
Common eye problems among seniors include:
- Presbyopia – occurs when the lens of the eye hardens and loses. It can cause blurred vision, headaches, the inability to focus on objects, and the need for more light in order to read.
- Cataracts – is caused by the lens of the eye losing transparency. Symptoms included cloudy or distorted vision.
- Diabetic retinopathy – gradual vision loss is caused by the blood vessels in the retina swelling or becoming weak.
- Macular degeneration – is the leading cause of vision loss for seniors caused by the degeneration of the eye’s central vision.
- Glaucoma – leads to the vision loss caused by increased pressure within the eye. There are often no symptoms until major damage has already been done, but it can be detected early (and treated) with a comprehensive eye exam.
How can I protect my vision (or the vision of a senior loved one)?
- Get your eyes checked regularly by an optometrist. (If you do not have an optometrist, ask your family doctor to refer you to one).
- If you regularly have dry eyes, consider getting a humidifier for your home. (In some very serious cases, your eye doctor may recommend surgery to correct this problem).
- If you suffer from watery eyes, it could be because you are sensitive to light or wind. Simply wearing a pair of sunglasses when you are outside may resolve this problem, but it could also be the result of an infection or blocked tear duct. Your doctor can help to determine the exact cause and prescribe a treatment.
- Change the lights. Switching to higher watt bulbs in your home can help reduce eye strain and may even help to prevent falls. Just make sure that the fixtures are designed for the bulbs and wattage you are using.
- Avoid smoking. Smoking is a major risk factor for macular degeneration.
- Protect your eyes from accidents by taking precautions such as using a grease shield when frying foods, ensuring spray nozzles are pointed away from you, and using safety glasses when in the workshop or using chemicals.
- Maintain a healthy diet. Vitamins and minerals such as those found in carrots, blueberries, spinach, and citrus fruit may help to slow down the progression of vision-related conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
Contact VERA Home Care today
Seniors with vision loss may need some extra support around the home, and VERA Home Care can help. We can also help to protect your senior loved one’s vision by taking them to vision care appointments and by helping them with habits to protect their eyes.
Contact VERA Home Care today to learn how we can support your senior loved one!