As we get older, our eyesight can deteriorate, which can prevent us from keeping a sense of independence in our lives, often requiring us to rely on the help of others or home care services.
Vision loss is currently the leading cause of age-related disability, with 285 million people visually impaired worldwide, of which 39 million are completely blind.
For something so common, it is important to ensure we take steps to ensure our eyesight remains strong in our later years. Not doing so could lead to a number of eye-related conditions.
Perhaps the most common problem faced with our eyes in our later stages of life is a difficulty in reading. This is most commonly caused by the weakening of the eye muscles, which tends to happen around the age of 45. By the age of 60, most people will require a pair of separate reading glasses.
While this may not seem overly serious, not taking care of your eyes can lead to more worrying issues. Cataracts, for example, is an eye condition that causes gradual clouding of the eye’s lens. While anyone can be diagnosed, it is most common in over 60s.
Perhaps the most serious is a disease known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This group of degenerative diseases damage the retina of the eye, which can cause a loss of central vision, the ability to see fine details, and in some cases, recognise faces. There is currently no cure for the condition.
Protecting your eyesight
These eye-related issues can greatly restrict a person’s independence, as many older people with eye-related problems tend to heavily rely on home care services to aid them in their day to day lives as their limited sight prevents them from completing a variety of tasks.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take that can ensure your eyes remain healthy even in the later stages of life.
One simple way is to ensure you eat a healthy and balanced diet. Many vegetables and fruit, such as carrots, tomatoes, strawberries and pumpkins, are known for their eye health properties, which can help prevent cataracts and AMD.
Similarly, maintaining a healthy weight can help your eyes, as being overweight can lead to diabetes, which in turn can lead to sight loss.
Your lifestyle choices are also important. If you smoke, you are at an increased risk of developing cataracts and AMD, so quitting smoking, or better, not smoking altogether, can reduce the risk of developing any eyesight problems.
Finally, light can benefit and damage your eyes, so you need to ensure you are exposing yourself to the right amount.
At the age of 60, we generally require three times as much light compared to someone who is 20 years old to be able to see well. As such, it is important to increase sunlight where possible, such as by keeping your home well ventilated and clean.
However, too much sunlight can damage our eyes. If you need to be exposed to strong direct sunlight, make sure you wear sunglasses or contact lenses fitted with a UV filter to mitigate the damage.
We here at Home Caring are a Bondi Junction based home care service. If your eyesight is causing you difficulty or preventing you from carrying out daily tasks, our dedicated home care team are on hand to assist you, so you can continue to live your life to the full. Get in contact today to find out how we can help.