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As people get older, they become more prone to eye problems. This is because of the natural ageing process of the body and some health challenges such as diabetes and hypertension that become more common as one ages. However, with good care, a lot of eye and other diseases can be prevented or detected early and arrested.

Common Eye Challenges:

Some common eye challenges for older people include:

  • Presbyopia (difficulty reading near tiny prints): Older people might need bifocals or reading glasses because of weakening eye muscles.
  • Floaters in the eyes: These look like floating specks or spots. While they are normally harmless, a visit to the eye doctor is recommended if they persist, as they can be a sign of a more serious eye condition
  • Cataracts: This is a clouding of the eyes lens which can be corrected with an operation. It makes a person’s vision cloudy or blurry. While younger people do have it, it is very common in people over 60.
  • Glaucoma: This is related to increased pressure in the eye that damages the optic nerve which connects the eye to the brain. Untreated glaucoma leads to tunnel vision and eventual blindness. Early detection can help prevent further damage.
  • Macular degeneration: This is a disease of the retina, the nerve tissue lining the back of the eyes, in particular the macular. This area is responsible for central vision. The degeneration can be fast or slow depending on the type.

 

Preventive Steps

All these diseases need to be detected early so they can be arrested and treated as well as possible. Therefore, the first step to eye care in old age is:

  • Regular eye tests: An eye test can detect a variety of diseases like glaucoma, cataracts, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Try to have one at least every two years.
  • Using the right prescription lenses: If your prescription has changed, you can only know this through an eye test. Wearing the wrong prescription will affect your eyesight over time, so always check that it is still the right one for you.

Other things you should do:

  • Eat healthy meals with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Wear sunglasses with UV filters when in the sun.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking can increase the chances of cataracts and macular degeneration.
  • Exercise regularly for good circulation and oxygen intake which help your eyes.
  • Watch your weight to reduce diabetes risk that can lead to blindness.
  • Always use good lighting whether for reading, writing, moving about or watching TV. Open your windows.
  • Get enough sleep. Your eyes get lubricated as you sleep and irritants like smoke or dust are cleared out.

Staying healthy as you get older guarantees not just better eyesight, but overall better wellbeing. Contact us for more information on eye tests, eyewear and treatments.