As we got older our eyesight changes as we get older, many of us will need to wear glasses or contact lenses as we age. Here are some tips to help keep your vision clear.
Have regular eye tests
An eye test is not just good for checking whether your glasses are up to date. It’s also a vital check on the health of your eyes.
An eye test can pick up eye diseases, such as cataracts and glaucoma, as well as general health problems, including high blood pressure and diabetes. Good eyesight is important in reducing accidental injuries from falls and motor vehicle accidents.
Wear the right lenses
An eye test will establish whether you need a different prescription for your glasses or contact lenses. It’s important to wear the correct prescription lenses. This will reduce the risks of accidents such as falls and improve your quality of life.
How to keep your eyes healthy?
As well as having regular eye tests and wearing the correct glasses, you can do several things to keep your eyes as healthy as possible:
- Wear sunglasses – strong sunlight can damage your eyes and may increase your risk of cataracts.
- Exercise – good circulation and oxygen intake are important for our eye health. Both of these are stimulated by regular exercise.
- Eat well – eating a healthy, balanced diet is important for your eyes.
- Quit smoking – smoking can increase your chances of developing conditions such as cataracts.
- Stay a healthy weight – being overweight increases your risk of diabetes, which can lead to sight loss.
- Use good lighting – to see well, your eyes need three times as much light when you’re 60 as they did when you were 20. Increase the daylight in your home by keeping windows clean and curtains pulled back. Make sure you have good electric lighting too, especially at the top and bottom of stairs so you can see the steps clearly. For close work or reading, use a direct light from a flexible table lamp.
Eye problems as you get older
As you get older, you become more likely to get certain eye problems:
- Difficulty reading – eye muscles start to weaken from the age of 45. It’s a natural aging process of the eye that happens to us all. By the time you’re 60, you’ll probably need separate reading glasses or an addition to your prescription lenses (bifocals or varifocals).
- Cataracts – easily detected in an eye test, this gradual clouding of the eye’s lens is very common in over-60s. A simple operation can restore sight.
- Glaucoma – this is related to an increase in pressure in the eye that leads to damage of the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain. Left untreated, glaucoma leads to tunnel vision and, ultimately, blindness.
- Diabetic retinopathy – people with diabetes may develop a condition called ‘diabetic retinopathy’ which can lead to serious loss of vision. If you have diabetes, you should make sure that you have regular eye tests.