May is Healthy Vision Month and we’re focusing on healthy eyes for seniors; sharing some interesting facts and information about maintaining healthy eyesight as you age.
Healthy Vision Information
- By 2030 approximately 11.4 million people will have diabetic retinopathy; especially as the numbers of seniors increases.
- Your genes play an important part in being “at risk” for health problems; in particular those who have a family history of glaucoma and/or any other genetic eye diseases should be extra diligent about having regular eye exams.
- Some excellent food choices that can help you reduce your risk of eye disease include dark green leafy vegetables, fish, eggs (the yolk in particular), carrots or any food high in beta-carotene, almonds (studies show that they can be beneficial against age-related macular degeneration -AMD- and cataract), and fruits high in vitamin C (berries, citrus, etc.) are a few of the foods known to help reduce your risk of AMD or cataracts.
- Half of Americans 75 years of age and over have cataracts; many may not only realize they have it in the early stages when it removal is usually more successful.
- Poor eyesight can attribute to increased fall risk in seniors; it’s important to reduce your risk of falls and this includes keeping your eyesight in check.
- Low vision is not a part of aging; this means that if you are experiencing low vision symptoms it is from an eye injury (current or former) or eye disease.
Tips for Seniors – Encouraging Healthy Vision
- Overall Health – Remember that your overall health is relevant to your eye health. Diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and many others can affect eye health; so it’s important to visit your physician regularly and practice healthy lifestyle habits.
- Sleep Habits Affect Eye Health – Your sleep patterns can affect the health of your eyes and it’s common to experience changes in sleep habits as we age. During sleep your eyes perform certain healthy functions like flushing out the irritants and pollutants and exposure to natural light affects your eyes’ ability to perform properly; making sleep an important factor to healthy vision and your overall health.
- Protective Eyewear – It’s important to wear protective eyewear (not just your regular glasses) during home improvements, when in the sun, and when using chemicals to garden or clean. Statistics show 44% of eye injuries occur in the home.
- Know What To Expect – It’s important to understand what “normal” is as you age. Eyesight does change, but not all things are normal; the AAO explains what to expect with your eyesight as you age.
Safe surroundings, assistance in everyday living and regular eye exams can all be some of the most important factors in healthy vision and safety for seniors.