Each day approximately 10,000 Americans turn 65 and one in every six adults this age and older has some type of vision impairment that cannot be corrected with either glasses or contacts.
As we celebrate our independence this July, it is important to keep in mind the independence of our older loved ones.
To ensure a safe and happy independent lifestyle, we need to make sure that our eyes are working at their best.
Here are some 7 sight-saving habits that will help maintain independence for seniors.
1. Get an Eye Exam.
Adults age 65 and over should get a medical eye exam every one-to-two years. Regular eye exams are very important in spotting changes in vision, which could be a symptom for a serious eye disease or condition.
2. Know the Symptoms of Vision Loss.
Signs of vision loss may become apparent when reading, writing, shopping, watching television, driving a car or even recognizing faces becomes more difficult. You vision problems may cause you to bumping into or knocking over objects, take steps hesitantly, squinting or tilting the head when trying to focus. If you’ve had to do any of these, let your doctor know!
3. Make Eye-Healthy Food Choices.
A diet low in fat and rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains benefits the entire body, including the eyes. Studies show that foods rich in vitamins C and E, zinc, lutein and zeaxanthin are good for eye health. Some eye-healthy foods include citrus fruits, vegetable oils, nuts, whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables and cold-water fish.
4. Quit Smoking.
Avoiding smoking and second hand smoke – or quitting, for current smokers – are some of the best investments everyone can make for long-term eye health. Smoking increases risk for eye diseases like cataract and age related macular degeneration and can raise the risks of cardiovascular diseases that can influence the eye problems.
5. Maintain Normal Blood Pressure, Cholesterol and Glucose Levels.
High blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose levels can all lead to an increase risk of vision loss from an eye disease. Always try to keep these levels under control, and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
6. Get Regular Physical Activity.
Thirty minutes of exercise a day can benefit your heart, waistline and energy levels, and also do some good for your eyesight! Many eye diseases are linked to other health problems, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol levels.
7. Wearing Sunglasses.
Exposure to ultra violet (UV) light can raise the risks of some eye problems, including cataract, growths on the eye and cancer. Always wear sunglasses with 100 percent UV protection, and a hat while enjoying time outdoors.