This article provided by Comfort Keepers, an independent caregiving provider in the Masonic Value Network
It’s been said that the eyes represent the window to the soul, but when you think about it, they’re also the window into our reality – a window that we often take for granted. And perhaps it’s because we can’t actually see our eyes that we don’t usually think about their health until our vision begins to diminish. However, as we age, it becomes more imperative that we safeguard our vision before problems – like cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy – arise.
While the symptoms of these conditions may be mild initially, they can ultimately result in seniors having to give up many of things that promote their independence, including activities of daily living. Fortunately, seniors can take steps to reduce their risk of visual impairment. Perhaps the most important action for seniors to take is to have their eyes consistently examined.
Regularly scheduled checkups are fundamental to protecting our eyesight, especially as we get older. Comprehensive eye exams, which generally look at four key components of vision (eye alignment, visual acuity, depth perception, and eye movement), help in determining any correctable refractive errors so that any necessary aids can be prescribed. Although some seniors may only require glasses or contacts to help correct these more minor issues, others rely on eye exams to help detect the presence of eye diseases, often early in their development and before any major damage has occurred. What’s more, optometrists can often detect other general health problems, such as high cholesterol, diabetes, and hypertension, while examining the eyes.
The American Optometric Association recommends that adults over the age of 60 receive eye exams once every year, or more if vision becomes noticeably different. The earlier something is detected, the faster treatment can begin. Of course, eye exams are only part of the equation. Seniors can be proactive and protect their eyes by making healthy lifestyle choices as well.
Note: Seniors should always consult their physician before changing diet or beginning any exercise regimen.
It’s predicted that, by 2030, the rate of vision loss will double in the United States, in accordance with the aging population.
Seniors should feel empowered knowing that they can take steps to protect their vision and reduce the risk of eye
diseases. But when they need some additional help, Comfort Keepers® is there to offer the support they need. Our
caregivers can help establish daily routines that promote good health and independent living. Caregivers can also
provide transportation to and from medical appointments or anywhere else clients need to go. Call (888) 778-9619 to
find your nearest Comfort Keepers location and to learn more about our in-home care services.
American Optometric Association. “Adult Vision: Over 60 Years of Age.” Web. 2018.
VSP. “Seniors’ Sign: Yearly Checkups a Must.” Web. 2018.
Natural Eye Care. “Eye Care for Seniors,” by Dr. Grossman. Web. 2018.
The Vision Council. “Digital Eye Strain” Web. 2018.
Bausch and Lomb. “60s+ Eye Health.” Web. 2018.