Here’s an eye-opening fact: One in three Americans will have a vision-reducing eye condition by the time they’re 65. Four major age-related eye diseases afflict seniors, including cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and macular degeneration.
Most people experience some minor vision changes around age 40. You might start to squint at small print and need to hold reading material further away to focus. Presbyopia, or the thickening of the eyes’ lenses, is a natural part of aging and makes it harder to see things up close. These vision changes, which intensify in your 50s, are usually fixable with a cheap pair of drugstore reading glasses or multifocal lenses if you already wear glasses or contacts. However, if you are using a computer for long periods of time, perhaps for work, then you need to take extra precaution. You will be at risk of computer vision syndrome, which will most likely cause long-term vision problems and put you at risk of having problems with your vision much earlier than usual.
By the time you reach your 60s, it’s more important than ever to pay attention to your eye health, especially if you experience any sudden or significant changes to your vision. Sexagenarians are at a greater risk for age-related eye diseases, which can seriously impair vision, particularly when left untreated. That’s why it’s so important to keep up with regular eye exams. After the age of 65, they’re recommended once or twice yearly, depending on your health.
10 Tips for Living with Age-Related Eye Diseases*
We asked Health Stories Project community members living with age-related eye diseases if they had any tips for day-to-day life with low vision. Here are the top 10 tools and tricks they recommended:
- Use zoom, increased font size, and set paragraphs to ‘speak’ on phones and computers.
- Magnifying glasses are very handy.
- Alexa, Siri, and Google Home talk to you and can answer questions, play music, help with shopping and more.
- Get a vehicle that has more safety features and a warning for when you get too close to objects.
- Use audiobooks to read.
- Take your vitamins and prescriptions
- Eat a lot of leafy veggies to slow down or stop progression.
- Use warm eye compresses; they feel wonderful!
- Attend low vision classes. Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired has programs that can really help.
- Borrow large print books.
*Editors Note: Please consult a physician with any questions or concerns you may have about your health condition and/or treatment. Tips from our community does not constitute medical advice.
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