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Keeping Your Eyes Healthy

As we get older, everyone’s vision changes. Once sharp eyes might have trouble focusing, making out details, or distinguishing objects at night the way they used to. But these changes don’t have to drastically change your lifestyle. By knowing what to expect and what you can do about it, you can keep your vision safe.

After age 60, a number of eye diseases that could change your vision permanently can develop. Many of these diseases have no or few early symptoms, cause no pain, and you might not notice the subtle changes in vision until the disease is quite advanced. Additionally, many common ailments affecting seniors can also affect eyes and vision. Diabetes, hypertension, and some medications can put you at greater risk for developing eye problems.

The American Optometry Association recommends annual eye exams for everyone over the age of 60, as well as going to the optometrist or ophthalmologist whenever changes in vision are noticed. Even if you’ve never had eye problems or needed corrected lenses before in your life, by visiting the eye doctor for regular exams, any potential issues can be noticed right away, leading to proper treatment and steps to prevent permanent damage.

In the meantime, lifestyle choices to maximize your eye health include eating a diet rich in leafy greens, oily fish, citrus, nuts, and beans, quitting smoking and keeping your blood pressure under control, and making sure to wear sunglasses when outdoors to prevent sun damage to the sensitive skin of the eyes.