Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, take a quick moment to appreciate your eyesight. For years and years, your eyes have helped you see the beautiful world around you and the lovely people within it. Yes, you might have a little more trouble seeing these days, but you can’t deny that your eyes have provided you with a truly invaluable thing: vision! This is why it’s so important to take good care of your eyes. Scroll down to learn how to protect your vision in your senior years.
How to Protect Your Vision in Your Senior Years
Vision inevitably changes with age. According to the National Institute on Aging, some common issues include struggling to see things up close, struggling to distinguish between certain colors, and needing a little time to adjust to different levels of brightness. These are all problems that can typically be easily corrected with the right eyewear (glasses, contact lenses) or good lighting. Unfortunately, the likelihood of experiencing various eye diseases and conditions also increases with age. How can you protect your vision in your sunset years?
Visit your eye doctor.
It is vital that you visit your eye doctor on a regular basis to have your eyes checked by a professional. The earlier a problem is identified, the sooner it can be addressed and treated. In many cases, time is of the essence! So if you notice any changes to your vision, make an appointment with your eye doctor right away. For example, watch out for blurry vision, cloudy vision, floaters (tiny specks or “cobwebs” that float across your vision), sensitivity, vision loss, etc. Keep in mind, however, that many eye diseases and conditions have very mild symptoms or lack symptoms altogether. Your eye doctor can help you keep an eye out for problems like the following:
- Age-related macular degeneration
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Dry eye
Otherwise, visit your eye doctor as often as they recommend based on your age and eye health (typically once or twice a year). It is especially important to visit the eye doctor regularly if you have certain health conditions, including diabetes and high blood pressure, as these conditions can impact your eyes.
Recognize and respond to potential eye emergencies.
As we mentioned above, it’s important to keep an eye out for changes in your vision. For many symptoms, you can simply call your eye doctor’s office and schedule an appointment within the next several days or even weeks. But some symptoms could be signs of an eye emergency. In these cases, it is vital that you see an eye care professional ASAP. Watch out for the following symptoms:
- Sudden vision loss
- Sudden blurry vision
- Seeing many new floaters
- Seeing flashes of light
- Eye pain
- Double vision
Wear sunglasses and hats outdoors.
Some people think of sunglasses as a simple fashion accessory – and some sunglasses provide so little eye protection, they are mere accessories – but the right pair of sunglasses can protect your eyes from sun damage. Look for sunglasses with polarized lenses and 100-percent protection from ultraviolet (UV) rays to thoroughly protect your eyes, especially when you’re outside on bright and sunny days. In addition, further protection your eyes by wearing a hat or staying in the shade.
Maintain good general physical health.
You might think that exercise and eating habits have very little to do with eyesight, but you would be wrong! Your eyes are a part of your body, and they can be impacted by your general health. Therefore, it’s important to do all of the following:
- Do not smoke.
- Eat a nutritious diet.
- Exercise regularly.
- Maintain normal blood pressure.
- Manage diabetes, if you have it.
Don’t take your eyesight for granted! Keep an eye on your eyes, and be sure to visit your eye doctor regularly.
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