Take steps now to guard eyesight in your senior years
Here’s some great news: With average anticipation within the U.S. increasing by nearly 10 years over the second half century, more folks live longer. As a result, however, age-related health problems also are on the increase — including eye diseases that cause poorer vision.
Most people experience some decline in their vision as they grow old . But some age-related eye diseases are particularly troubling because they will eventually cause severely impaired vision or blindness. to form matters worse, vision-robbing diseases like glaucoma, cataracts, degeneration or diabetic retinopathy are now on the rise , threatening the eyesight of many senior adults.
This threat is collectively referred to as low vision, a loss in acuity that’s often permanent and difficult to beat . Fortunately, though, most diseases that cause low vision develop gradually, and sometimes display detectable signs along the way. You thus have a greater chance for healthier vision if you're taking steps to deal with an eye fixed disease in its initial stages.
Dr. Kimberly Burrage, a Therapeutic Certified Optometrist with Hattiesburg clinic , said the simplest thanks to do this is to urge a baseline eye exam at age 40, then continue annual exams from then on.
“There are certain ‘silent’ symptoms related to many eye conditions that aren’t always apparent to a patient,” said Dr. Burrage, who focuses on diagnosing and managing eye diseases. “But they will often be detected by an eye fixed doctor through a typical eye exam.”
Dr. Burrage also said some adults may have to undergo this exam earlier. “If you’re already experiencing vision problems, you've got a metabolic condition like diabetes or high vital sign , otherwise you have a case history of disease , you certainly shouldn’t wait until time of life to start annual eye exams.”
You may also notice signs as you age that tell you your vision isn’t what it wont to be. the foremost common of those may be a condition referred to as presbyopia during which an individual finds it difficult to specialise in near objects, most notably while reading.
“Presbyopia occurs because the attention muscles that control the lens begin to lose their flexibility as we age,” Dr. Burrage said. “This reduces the lens’s ability to regulate its focus, which may especially interfere with up-close vision. Most patients address aids like reading glasses, progressive or bifocal lenses or special contact lenses to assist them better see near objects.”
Difficulty with seeing up close is simply one among many signs of decreased vision which will accompany aging. you ought to also consult an eye fixed doctor if you notice things such as:
• Difficulty seeing at night;
• Blurry vision;
• A halo effect around bright lights;
• Sudden flashes of light;
• Red, watery eyes;
Even so, annual eye exams beginning in time of life are the surest thanks to detect an eye fixed disease that would eventually rob you of your sight. These exams can become the start line for a spread of treatment options that would assist you effectively manage an eye fixed disease or condition.
For example, if an eye fixed doctor detects elevated fluid pressure within the eye — the onset of glaucoma — there are variety of treatment options now to scale back the pressure, starting from daily drops to minimally invasive surgeries, that help a patient avoid permanent damage to the retina. There are similar ranges of options for several other debilitating eye conditions.
The goal in many cases is to manage the condition in order that you’re ready to retain the maximum amount of your vision as possible. Dr. Burrage also said there are belongings you can do to assist improve your vision overall or to raised deal with low vision, should it occur.
“One characteristic of low vision may be a decreased ability to differentiate between color hues and shades,” Dr. Burrage said. you'll make it easier to ascertain items if they're placed on backgrounds that contrast their color — for instance , dark placemats under white China or a dark rug against a beige floor.
Increase lighting. Dr. Burrage recommends better lighting in dimly lit areas to scale back the danger of falling or tripping, hazards that impact three million seniors annually . Consider, then, adding additional lighting on staircases or hallways, or outside along walkways or garden paths.
Items scattered about can make it difficult for somebody with low vision to navigate through their home or find things they have . “You can make your life easier if you create sure everything in your home is in its proper place and out of the way,” Dr. Burrage said.
The “internet of things” is making it possible to manage many aspects of your home with a computer, smartphone or a virtual assistant like Siri, Alexa or Google Home. With these devices you'll control thermostats (which might be hard to read), lock doors or turn lighting on or off without physically having to try to to so.
Engage in healthy habits.
A healthy lifestyle can protect and enhance your eyesight. make certain to exercise, maintain a healthy vital sign and control your cholesterol. Kick the habit if you smoke. And make certain you’re eating “eye-friendly” whole foods rich in vitamin C (oranges and tomatoes), vitamin E (almonds, sunflower seeds and avocados), and lutein (dark, leafy greens, mangoes and peaches).
The possibility of a disease resulting in low vision are some things you ought to take seriously as you grow old . But there are belongings you and your ophthalmologist can do to avoid that risk—and the earlier you pursue them, the less likely your eyesight will suffer.
If you’d wish to learn more about senior eye health, visit our webpage. For more information on how Hattiesburg clinic can help improve your overall vision health, call 601-268-5910, 800-624-8254 or schedule a consultation with us online.
The exam may take anywhere from half-hour to an hour and can include many or all of the subsequent tests:
This test measures the sharpness of your vision using an eye fixed chart projected onto the wall. Both eyes are tested together, also because the left and right eyes separately. As you read each line aloud , the letters get smaller, until you're not ready to read the screen.
This will check for blind spots in your side (or peripheral) vision by testing what you'll see together with your eyes facing forward.
A technician will observe your pupils’ reactions to light and shut objects.
This checks how your eyes work together. As you specialise in alittle object a long way away, a technician will cover and uncover each eye to watch what proportion your eyes move. If the uncovered eye must move to specialise in the thing it's going to indicate a problem with alignment. The test could also be repeated up close.
To ensure that the alignment of your eyes is normal, a technician will ask you to follow a target together with your eyes in several directions. The technician will observe your eye movements while you are doing this.
If you would like of glasses or contacts, a technician may shine a light-weight in your eyes and have you ever check out an outsized target while flipping lenses during a machine ahead of your eyes and observing the way the sunshine reflects from your eyes.
This yields an approximate idea of your prescription. this is often particularly useful for youngsters and patients who are unable to accurately answer questions.
To determine your exact prescription, your doctor or technician may fine-tune the prescription manually by asking you to reply to questions like "Which is best , one or two?" while flipping back and forth between different lenses. If you are doing not need vision correction you'll not tend this test.