As you age, your vision changes. As you reach your 60s and beyond, knowing what to expect from your eyes and when to contact your optometrist can help you limit the impact these changes have on your daily life.
Here’s what individuals over the age of 60 need to know to safeguard their vision.
Be Aware of Age-Related Vision Issues
As reach your 60s, you need to be aware of the warning signs for common age-related vision issues. These include the following:
Cataracts: When you have a cataract, the lenses in your eyes become cloudy. This “cloud” is caused by a buildup of protein in the lens of your eye the prevents light rays from passing through your lens. Cataracts cause blurry vision and increased sensitivity to glare.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD): AMD affects the most sensitive portion of the eye known as the macula. This is the part of the retina that allows us to see fine detail and some colors and central vision.
Dry eye: Tears maintain the health of the front surface of the eye and provide clear vision. When a person produces too few or poor-quality tears, it results in a condition known as dry eye. Dry eye is a common and often chronic problem, particularly in older adults.
Glaucoma: Glaucoma occurs when the eye loses the ability to drain fluid properly. This causes a buildup of pressure which can damage the optic nerve. Unfortunately this condition often does not have any symptoms.
A number of these eye diseases develop painlessly and can alter your vision permanently. Regular eye exams are the best way to ensure that these problems are detected and treated early.
Vision Issues That Can Impact Your Driving
For those in their 60s, driving a car may be increasingly difficult. Age-related vision changes and eye diseases can negatively impact your driving abilities, even before you are aware of symptoms.
Some of these age-related vision changes are:
Not being able to see road signs as clearly
Difficulty seeing objects up close, like the car instrument panel or road maps
Difficulty judging distances and speed
Changes in color perception
Problems seeing in low light or at night
Difficulty adapting to bright sunlight or glare from headlights
Loss of peripheral vision
However, there are several precautions to take that can help your eyes adapt, keeping you safe when driving. These include:
Avoid certain types of eyewear: This includes wearing eyeglasses and sunglasses with wide, thick frames or temples. Glasses with wide temples may restrict your side vision.
Have an annual eye exam: Yearly eye exams can ensure your eyeglass or contact lens prescription is up to date. It can also ensure early detection and treatment of any developing eye health problem.
Get rid of reflections: Reflections in your eyeglass lenses can cause glare and interfere with your vision, especially when driving at night. Invest in lenses with anti-reflective (AR) coating for the clearest, most comfortable vision possible.
In some cases, certain eyewear can also help reduce halos, glare, starbursts, and other vision issues that can impact your driving. Ask your optometrist if you’re wearing the corrective eyewear that can give you the sharpest vision possible.
Protect Your Eyes
Protecting your eyesight is one of the most important things individuals over 60 can do to help maintain their quality of life.
To protect your eyesight and keep your eyes healthy as you age, consider these three simple tips:
Exercise frequently: According to the AAO, studies suggest that regular exercise (such as walking) can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration by up to 70 percent.
Guard your vision against harmful UV light: When outdoors during the daytime, always wear sunglasses that shield your eyes from 100 percent of the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays. This may help reduce your risk of cataracts and other eye problems.
Don't smoke: The many dangers of smoking have been well documented. When it comes to eye health, people who smoke are at greater risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and other eye problems.
The leading causes of blindness and low vision in the United States are age-related diseases such as macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma. Therefore, protecting your eyesight as you age is an essential part of your health care.
Protect Your Vision With Eden Prairie Eye Care!
A comprehensive eye exam, including a retinal health evaluation can determine your risk for major eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma, both of which have no early warning signs or symptoms. An eye exam also can ensure that your prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses is up to date.
To protect your vision, schedule your appointment with Eden Prairie Eye Care today! Call our clinic at (952) 944-2792 or make an appointment online. We’ll make sure that you have to best vision possible, at any age!