Eye Health Tips to Protect Our Vision as We Get Older
September 16, 2022
By Sondra Forsyth
Originally posted on thirdAGE
September is Healthy Aging Month, and as we think about what we can do to maintain our general health as we get older, it’s also a good time to talk about what we can do to protect our eye health.
Low vision, vision loss that can’t be corrected with eyeglasses or surgery, is a result of eye diseases, injuries, or both. Symptoms include loss of central and/or peripheral vision, blurred or hazy vision, and difficulty seeing at night.
As we age, we are at increased risk for eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts. These disorders can lead to low vision and impact our ability to perform daily activities and enjoy leisure pursuits. Systemic health problems such as diabetes can also affect eye health.
“Many eye diseases and conditions have no warning signs, but they can be detected in their early stages during a comprehensive eye exam,” says Dr. Susan Weinstein, low vision optometrist at Lighthouse Guild. “The key to saving sight is early detection and treatment.”
In addition to regular comprehensive eye exams, which can detect problems before noticeable vision loss occurs, many lifestyle factors can play an important role in protecting vision.
Following these recommendations will support eye health:
- Eat a balanced diet including dark, leafy greens and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids.
- Maintain a healthy weight and exercise.
- Get enough sleep to rest your eyes.
- Quit smoking.
- Keep diabetes under control.
- Wear sunglasses and a brimmed hat outdoors.
- Wear protective eyewear during activities such as sports and construction work, when your eyes may be vulnerable to exposure.
- Help prevent falls with slip-proof rugs and secure railings.
- Discuss your family’s eye health history with your eye care professional.
“Protecting our eyes is important at every age, but particularly as we get older — it’s doing our part in helping to maintain quality of life,” Dr. Weinstein says.
Lighthouse Guild provides exceptional services that inspire people who are visually impaired to attain their goals, offering coordinated care for eye health, vision rehabilitation, technology, and behavioral health as well as related services. The Lighthouse Guild Technology Center provides people with vision loss access to the latest assistive devices and state-of-the-art technology. The Lighthouse Guild podcast series, “On Tech & Vision with Dr. Cal Roberts,” offers information and insights about technological innovations that are tearing down barriers for people who are blind or visually impaired.