In Brief - Seniors' Eyes
At last there is time to focus on yourself. Time to read a book or
play a round of golf. And enjoy your continued good vision.
It’s a fact of life that your eyesight changes as you get older, sometimes significantly—but this doesn’t have to compromise your lifestyle. It may be harder to see in the dark, and you may see some glare from shiny roads or sun hitting the pavement when driving or walking outside.
Regular eye exams are even more important as you reach your senior years. Be sure to visit the eye doctor and learn about potential eye concerns. By being well-informed, you can recognize signs of trouble—and possibly cure or slow a sight-threatening disease.
You may not realize that health issues in other parts of your body can
affect the continued strength of your vision as well. In particular,
diabetes and high blood pressure can lead to vision problems, especially if
these conditions are allowed to continue without treatment. When you see your
eye doctor, list all of your current health issues and your family history of
illness on the form your doctor’s office will provide. The more your eye
care professional knows, the better protected you will be against potentially
debilitating vision loss.
Also important to long-term eye health is exercise, diet and rest. Exercise improves blood circulation, which improves oxygen levels to the eyes and the removal of toxins. Make sure you are eating foods rich in antioxidants and getting enough rest. Studies have shown that antioxidant minerals and other vitamins may help combat free radicals, and slow or prevent related diseases. Free radicals are unstable molecules—unchecked, they can damage cells in the eye, which may lead to serious vision problems, such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
Proper eye care doesn't have to be expensive—and it is worth every penny. Many insurance policies will cover the cost of routine eye exams as well as treatments your doctor may prescribe. Some may even cover or contribute to the cost of vision correction such as prescription glasses or contact lenses.