Keep Good Vision Throughout Life

| July 1, 2010

Tips for fighting eye problems common with age

Good vision is a vital part of feeling your best. We rely on sight more than any other sense to enjoy life to the fullest. Your vision changes naturally throughout your life. For example, you may know that with age:

•Your eyes need more light to see;

•It becomes harder to tell the difference between some colors, particularly shades of blue and green;

•It becomes more difficult to focus on things that are near;

•Adjusting to glare and darkness can become more troublesome.

Nearly everyone experiences these and other changes in their vision as they grow older. The good news is you can lead an active life even with these changes.

There are also steps you can take to help take care of your sight:

Visit an eye doctor regularly

Get your eyes checked regularly by an eye doctor—at least every other year—especially if you are 55 or older. Some people, especially those with diabetes, may need to go more often.

You should visit your eye doctor even if you have no problems seeing. There are several eye diseases that have no symptoms during their early stages, and only your eye doctor can tell if you have them.

Your eye doctor can treat common eye problems you may have, keep your eyeglass prescription up-to-date and check for eye diseases. If you do have any problems with your eyes, your eye doctor will discuss the best way to treat them with you.

Make changes to help see better

Small changes in the way you live will help you to see better as your eyes age. These simple changes include:

•Wearing sunglasses and a brimmed hat anytime you are outdoors in bright sunshine;

•Improving lighting around your house;

•Wearing safety eyewear when working around your house or playing sports.

Another way to keep good vision throughout your life is to learn about vision changes that occur as you age. By being well informed, you can know what problems may develop, how those problems can be detected and what steps you can take to save your sight.

Take care of yourself

Taking care of yourself and keeping in good health can help protect your vision. You can lower your risk of eye disease and vision loss if you: eat healthy foods; stay active; control your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, diabetes or other health problems; and don’t smoke.

People with certain vision problems, like glaucoma, are often prescribed medication to stop the disease from causing further vision loss. To be effective, medicines must be taken at certain times in exact amounts. Closely follow your doctor’s recommendations and schedule for taking your medication. Skipping a dose or taking your medicine late may cause more vision loss.

Another way to make the most of your vision is a type of special training called vision rehabilitation. Vision rehabilitation can teach you skills for living with low vision. You can also learn ways to adapt your household to make living with reduced vision easier.

Budget for proper eye care

You should budget for the cost of a regular eye exam at least every other year or more frequently if your doctor recommends it.

For more information, go to Pre­vent Blindness America, www.preventblindness.org.


Category: Health & Fitness Articles, More Features

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