Protecting Your Eyesight - SeniorHousingNet.com
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Aging Eyes and How to Take Care of Them
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No matter if you have been fortunate enough to have good eyesight your entire life or if you started wearing eyeglasses at 6 years old, as you age, your eyesight tends to get worse. This is just part of the natural process that your body goes through as you get older.

Keeping your eyes healthy as they age is an important step in making sure that your body is getting the care and support it needs as you get older. Senior Housing Net knows how important is it to take care of again eyes, so we have put together this guide about aging eyes and how to take care of them.

Protecting Your Eyesight

One of the best ways to proactively protect your eyesight is to have eye exams regularly. If you are over the age of 60, you should be seeing an optometrist or ophthalmologist for a dilated eye exam every year.

During the dilated eye exam, the doctor will put drops in your eyes that will cause them to dilate. This dilation allows the doctor to see into the back of your eye and check for common eye diseases that are undetectable without the dilation.

If you regularly wear contact lenses or eyeglasses, you should have your prescription checked yearly by your eye care doctor as well. Regular prescription checks for your lenses can ensure that your eyes are being properly cared for and any changes in your eyesight are addressed before they become a problem.

Aside from regular check-ups with your eye doctor, you should also see your primary care physician regularly to check for things like diabetes or high-blood pressure as both of these can negatively impact your vision.

Signs that You Need to See You Eye care Doctor

While going to see your eye care yearly will usually help catch eye problems before they become an issue, there are a few things you should be on the lookout for when it comes to keeping your eyes healthy.

If your eyesight suddenly becomes blurry or you can’t see anything out of one or both eyes, you should immediately go see your eye care doctor so they can help diagnose and care for the problem.

Some other signs of potentially serious eye damage include: seeing flashes of light, having eye pain, double-vision, and/or a swollen eye or eyelid.

Common Problems for Eyes

Thankfully, many eye problems are easily treatable, but it is important to get each and every eye problem checked by your eye care doctor because those problems can sometimes indicate a more serious disease or condition. Some of these common problems include:

  • Presbyopia - If you start to notice that seeing close objects or small print is getting more and more difficult, this is Presbyopia. As you get older, Presbyopia is completely normal and can normally be addressed with reading glasses. It is also common for headaches, tired eyes, or strained eyes to accompany Presbyopia.
  • Floaters - Floaters are exactly what they sound like; they are tiny specks that appear to float across your vision. They are most commonly seen on bright, sunny days or in well-lit rooms. While floaters can be a totally normal part of aging, they can also be an early signal or retinal detachment. If you start to see floaters a lot or floaters are accompanied by light flashes, you need to go see your eye care doctor immediately.
  • Tearing - Tears are part of a normal and healthy eye. Sometimes excessive tearing can be caused by light, wind, or dry eye. If the tearing starts to become a bigger problem or a nuisance, sunglasses or eye drops can usually help stop it. If the tearing is excessive and accompanied by pain, it can be a warning sign of an infected or blocked tear duct. Both of these conditions are easily treatable by your eye doctor.
  • Eyelid issues - Eyelids can become swollen, itchy, irritated, red, or cause your eyelashes to become crusted over. These symptoms can be caused by a variety of conditions and diseases but most are easily treated with a warm compress or eyelid scrub.

Ways to Keep Your Eyes Healthy

Keeping your eyes healthy is easy with the right tools and proper care. Here are a few ways that you can help your eyes stay healthy as they age:

  • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from ultraviolet light
  • Don’t smoke or stop smoking
  • Maintain a healthy diet
  • Stay at a healthy weight
  • Stay physically active
  • Keep diabetes in check if you have it
  • Keep computer and/or screen time to a minimum or take regular breaks

Source: www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/aging-and-your-eyes

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