As you gradually age, your style of life changes. So does your vision, but it doesn't necessarily have to compromise your quality of life. Though the risk of eye diseases and disorders can increase with age, there are also many ways you can prevent it.
You only get two eyes, so look after them as you enter into senior living. You take care of your heart and other organs, why not your eyes too?
See your optometrist
Take time out to get regular checks on your eyes. Your eyes may be easy to overlook, but can be just as important as any other organ in your body.
Regular eye appointments can help you catch the early signs of a disease or disorder. Many conditions occur painlessly and can be too late to prevent once it has advanced.
A common retinal disorder that plagues people over 50 years of age is age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This accounted for almost half of all cases of blindness in Australians in 2004, according to a study published in The Medical Journal of Australia. AMD is degenerative and impairs vision gradually, reducing central vision and the ability to see fine details.
The Centre for Eye Research Australia suggests that those who have a family history of AMD are four times a likely to contract this disorder, while people who smoke increase their risk three-fold.
If you have diabetes, then you could be at risk of diabetic retinopathy. The risks increase the longer you've had diabetes and if you've had periods of poor diabetic control. The blood vessels in your eyes can leak fluids, which causes swelling and impacts vision. Consult your doctor more regularly if you suffer from diabetes to prevent degeneration before you have to treat it.
Things to look out for
There are many symptoms that could suggest you have an eye disorder or disease.
If you see specks or cobwebs floating in your vision, it could be nothing, or it could be the onset of something serious. Take action immediately if the number of floaters increases or are accompanied with flashes of light.
Dry eyes or excessive tears (which can be as a result of dry eyes) are also common, and can lead to loss of vision. Dry eyes can be a chronic problem and come with burning or itchy eyes. They can be easily treated with eye drops prescribed by your optometrist.
Save your sight
There are many lifestyle habits to adopt to ensure your eyes are in the best condition possible. Your eyes need moisture, so make sure you drink enough water and get enough rest at night.
Prevent rubbing your eyes as it can increase pressure and harm the cornea.
Diet is also important – vegetables and fruits provide the necessary vitamins and minerals you need to prolong the health of your ageing eyes.