Do you find yourself struggling to read small print in the newspaper or having to move the couch closer to TV to watch your favorite show? You aren’t alone. As we age, we experience normal changes in our vision. Many of these changes can be easily corrected with glasses, contacts, or bifocals. During March, which is National Save Your Vision Month, we need to remind ourselves about eye health and safety, and the importance of visiting an eye doctor.
According to the Center for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) people over the age of 40 are at a greater risk for eye disease. The most common age-related eye diseases are macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. You may not see symptoms of these diseases right away, but they are easily detected during a comprehensive eye exam. According to the National Eye Institute (www.nei.nih.gov) these age-related eye diseases are the leading cause of blindness and low vision in people over the age of 65, so it is very important to visit an eye doctor once a year, even if you believe that your eyes are healthy.
Although age-related changes in our vision cannot be prevented, the Administration on Aging (www.aoa.gov) suggests some ways to reduce the effects.
• Eat fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins A, C and E.
• Wear protective sunglasses when outdoors
• Maintain a healthy weight
• Limit smoking and alcohol intake
• Rest eyes every 20 minutes when reading or working on a computer.
If you are among the many older adults who suffer from vision loss or impairment, you are at a greater risk of falling and getting injured in your home. The Home Safety Council (www.homesafetycouncil.org) suggests these tips to prevent yourself from getting hurt.
• Remove throw rugs from your home, as you can easily trip on them.
• Keep the floors, and especially the stairs, free of clutter.
• Have handrails installed on both sides of the stairs.
• Paint the bottom basement step white to make it more visible.
• Have nightlights in the bedroom, hallways, and bathroom.
Prevention, treatment, and safety in the home are all ways that we can reduce the effects of aging on our eyes, and if you haven’t had your eyes checked recently, you may be surprised how much your vision improves with a simple prescription change. Take time during National Save Your Vision Month to make vision health and safety a priority in your life.
For more information about how Liberty at Home can help you with vision health and in-home safety, contact Dana O’Donnell at 215-643-6335 ext. 147.
Do you or a loved one have vision problems? What difficulties do you experience?