Vision is very important for a high quality of life as a person ages. Even though problems with eyes and vision can occur at any age, they are more common in older people.
For example, eye diseases such as AMD or age-related macular degeneration, cataract, and glaucoma are more common in the elderly. The Vision Council states that 1 in 28 Americans age 40 and above have low vision, and the trend is supposed to increase over the next two decades as 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 each day.
On the other hand, health conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease increase the risk of age-related eye diseases.
Poor vision decreases the quality of life of seniors. The condition can restrict the mobility of the individual and make it difficult for your loved one to stay active in old age. In fact, staying physically active is crucial to maintaining the overall health and well-being of your loved one.
That is why taking care of eye health in seniors is critical for the overall health and well-being of your loved one. This article provides information on the importance of eye health in seniors, and what should you do to maintain the eye health of your loved one.
This article is part of my “Importance of Elders” series that features 50+ articles on keeping seniors and the elderly happy and healthy so that we can have them in our lives longer. See the entire series here.
Common Causes Of Age-Related Eye Disease
There are many eye diseases that may lead to vision loss in older adults. Here are some of the common causes of age-related eye disease:
The lens of the eyes becomes cloudy in this condition. If not treated in time, the disease can lead to loss of vision in older people. Fortunately, cataract surgery is a simple procedure that could correct this condition.
Glaucoma results in damage to the optic nerve. The condition impairs peripheral vision and results in progressive tunnel vision.
High blood sugar in diabetic patients can result in the damage of the small blood vessels of the eye. In fact, diabetic retinopathy may lead to blindness when not treated at the beginning. That is why proper blood sugar control is important as a person ages.
The condition will affect the central part of the retina and lead to central vision loss over time. Reading and watching TV can become difficult as a result of this eye disease.
What To Do To Maintain Eye Health As A Person Ages?
There are many things to do in order to maintain eye health as a person ages. Here are some of the most important things to consider in this regard:
Regular eye exams
The importance of annual eye exams for seniors cannot be overemphasized. Regular exams will provide insights into various eye diseases that can affect elderly adults as well as systemic conditions like diabetes and hypertension. Make sure you schedule an appointment with a qualified and experienced ophthalmologist for annual eye exams.
Wear prescription glasses
Most of the time, older adults require eyeglasses for near and far sight. Often older adults will just pick up a pair of reading glasses but they aren’t always enough.
Wearing prescription glasses will help improve their vision and prevent the risk of falls and accidents.
Protecting your eyes from the harmful rays of the sun is important when you go out. Wearing sunglasses or prescribed glasses and a hat with a brim is important in this regard.
Normalize the blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol levels
Diabetes, hypertension, and atherosclerosis are linked to both cardiovascular diseases and an increased risk of vision loss in old age. These conditions can adversely affect the blood vessels in your eyes and lead to vision loss over time.
Avoid eye injuries from falls
Wearing prescribed eyeglasses at all times helps prevent accidents and falls and project the eyes. Wear face shields and eye goggles whenever required.
LIve a healthy lifestyle
A healthy diet including lots of leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables is important to protect your vision with aging. Exercising is important to ward off disease and maintain your overall health and well-being. The eyes require proper blood circulation and oxygen intake in old age.
Vision is important to maintain the quality of life when a person ages. Eye diseases are common in older age. Follow the aforementioned tips to maintain good eye health in your loved one as he/she ages.