Is your vision changing? Eye health can’t be taken for granted
Is your vision changing? The National Eye Institute wants to get the word out about what changes are normal, what changes aren’t and how to protect your eye health.
Some normal changes include the following:
- Losing focus, making it harder to focus vision up close
- Having trouble distinguishing colors, such as blue from black, or where an object ends and its background begins.
- Needing more light to see well and more time to adjust to changing levels of light (e.g., going from a room that is dark to one that is brightly lit).
Some changes are not normal.
Vision loss is not a normal part of aging. But, as you get older, you are at higher risk of developing the following age-related eye diseases and conditions that can lead to vision loss or blindness:
- Age related macular degeneration
- Diabetic retinopathy
In their early stages, these diseases often have no warning signs or symptoms. The only way to detect them before they cause vision loss or blindness is through a comprehensive dilated eye exam. This kind of exam is not the same exam you would have for glasses or contact lenses. The National Eye Institute recommends everyone over the age of 50 to have a comprehensive dilate eye exam every one to two years.
Many lifestyle factors can also play an important role in protecting vision as we age.
It’s important to:
- Eat a diet rich in green, leafy vegetables and fish
- Maintain normal blood pressure
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Do not smoke.
- Keep diabetes under control.
- Wear sunglasses and a brimmed hat any time you are outside in bright sunshine
- Wear protective eyewear when working around your home.
- Know your family’s eye health history and discuss it with their eye care professional.
Eye health can’t be taken for granted. Time to make that appointment if it’s been more than a year since your last dilated eye exam.
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