AGE-RELATED EYESIGHT LOSS – HOW TO DEAL WITH IT?

As you advance in age, there are health challenges to face including the normal functions of your eyes. Starting at the age of 40’s, you might notice that you have trouble seeing clearly up close or at a distance, or reading small letters in a dim light, or adjusting to the sudden glare of the sun and headlights during the night.

Age-related vision changes such as presbyopia and myopia are just part of the aging process and can be corrected with prescription glasses or contact lenses. However, these changes are irreversible and progress as you grow older.

You might have more serious age related eyesight loss such as cataract, low vision, dry eyes, glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. These can affect quality of life in your retirement age when suppose you’re enjoying it to the full.

You can do something about it! Live an active lifestyle by practicing wellness and investing in modern technology to help you cope with age-related eyesight loss.

 

Age-Related Eyesight Loss Problems

 

Presbyopia

Presbyopia is the inability to see clearly in a close range due to the loss of flexibility in the lens of the eyes. When looking at the objects the eye focus the light behind it rather than on the retina. This is a type of refractive error which can be corrected by regular glasses and contact lenses.

 

Myopia

Myopia is another refractive error which makes close object appear clear but far objects are blurred due to the eyes not bending the light properly. This causes the light to focus in front of the eyes instead of directly on the surface of the retina and this can also be corrected by regular glasses and contact lenses.

 

Cataract

Cataract is the clouding of the lens of the eyes which cause the vision to get blurry. There are 3 types of cataracts:

  1. Sub-capsular cataract – forms at the back of the lens and high risk are those with diabetes or taking high doses of steroid medications.
  2. Nuclear cataract – forms deep in the central zone (nucleus) of the lens which is usually caused by aging.
  3. Cortical cataract – forms in the periphery of the lens and works its way to the center which is characterized by white, wedge-like opacities. It occurs in the lens cortex, the part of the lens that surrounds the central nucleus.

 

Low vision

Low vision is a severe eye disease which impairs the ability to see clearly and cannot be reversed with glasses, contact lenses, medication or surgical procedure. Low vision can hinder simple daily tasks and may be the result of eye conditions and diseases such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, cataracts, retinitis, and stroke. Low vision caused by cataract is treatable and good vision can be restored. Types of low vision:

 

  1. 20/200 to 20/400 – severe visual impairment or severe low vision
  2. 20/500 to 20/1,000 – profound visual impairment or profound low vision
  3. Less than 20/1,000 – near-total visual impairment near-total blindness.

Dry Eyes

Dry eyes syndrome occurs when not enough tears are produced to lubricate and moisten the surface of the eyes. Or it can be that the tears don’t have the right consistency and evaporate too quickly. Common causes of dry eyes include aging and certain medical conditions such as scleroderma, diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis,  thyroid disorders and deficiency of vitamin A.

 

Glaucoma

Glaucoma occurs when the fluid is not drained properly causing high pressure inside the eye and damage the optic nerve. This can result to blindness; in fact glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the world. Symptoms of glaucoma include severe eye pain, blurred vision, headaches, rainbow halos around lights, nausea and vomiting.

 

Macular Degeneration

Seniors over the age of 60 usually suffer from age-related macular degeneration or AMD. It gradually destroys the sharp, central vision of the eyes when the macula or the central portion of the retina deteriorates. Aging cause the cells and blood vessels under the macula to thin and break down.

 

Take Charge of Your Life

Healthy Lifestyle

Healthy diet can contribute much to your general wellbeing particularly your eye health and good eyesight. Nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin E might help fight off age-related vision loss. Eat the following food:

  1. Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and collards
  2. Wild-caught fish and shellfish – salmon, tuna, sardines and other oily fish – rich source of omega-3 fatty acids
  3. Organic eggs, nuts, beans, and other non-meat protein sources such as tofu and soya milk
  4. Berries, oranges and other citrus fruits or juices, avocado,
  5. Seeds and nuts such as walnuts, flaxseeds
  6. Vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, squash, beets – good sources of vitamin A and beta-carotene.

 

Aside from nutritious foods, you need to exercise, avoid smoking and heavy drinking, enough sleep and water for proper hydration. When you go outdoor, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the glare and air pollution. Most important, have a regular eye exam to detect eye disease at its early stage which some of these diseases do not show visible symptoms but treatable when detected immediately.

 

Cordless Phone for Visually Impaired

You can invest on a cordless phone designed for visually impaired especially if you have low vision or macular degeneration disease. The features include big buttons, large numbers and displays and talking caller ID.

These features will make communicating with your family and friends easy and simple. At the same time, the cordless phone makes it easy for them to communicate with you because you’re just a phone away.

If you have age-related eyesight loss, you need to have more social interaction. Support groups improve your emotional, mental and psychological health which prevent depression, alleviate feelings of loneliness and help you live an active life. Click here for details on the latest cordless phones for seniors.

 

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