Your Eyes as You Age

Time catches up with your eyes and it’s common to discover vision changes as you age. You might find yourself needing better light to see as well or you might find it difficult to do close work. Glare may become a problem when you are driving, and colors may shift.1 These are all normal changes that seniors experience, although some of them could become problematic.

At Colorado Ophthalmology Associates of Denver, CO, we want you to enjoy healthy eyes and clear vision as the years go by. That’s why we are using the month of September to talk about protecting your eyes as you age.

Protect Your Vision

The #1 thing you can do to protect your eyes as you age is to get an annual dilated eye exam. The National Institute for Aging suggests a comprehensive eye exam every one to two years.2 In this exam, your ophthalmologist will put drops in your eyes to widen the pupils so that he or she can see into the back of the eye. Your vision will be blurry after this exam and you will want to wear sunglasses. Many patients prefer someone else drives them home. But the effects of the drops will wear off after a few hours.

Conditions Related to Aging

  • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) – harms the central vision
  • Diabetes-related retinopathy – vision loss or blindness
  • Cataracts – hazy, cloudy vision
  • Glaucoma – harmful pressure from fluid in the eye
  • Presbyopia – losing ability to focus on near things
  • Dry eye – trouble with tear glands
  • Watery eyes – oversensitive eyes
  • Low vision – vision trouble even with corrective lenses
  • Retinal detachment – when the retina pulls away and needs to be repaired
  • Floaters or flashing lights – specks across vision
  • Trichiasis – eyelashes grow in towards eye and irritates it

How to Help Your Aging Eyes

  • Eat right – vitamin A (leafy green vegetables, yellow and orange vegetables, tomatoes, eggs, beef liver and fish oils); vitamin C (grapefruit, oranges, broccoli, blueberries, blackberries, cabbage, cantaloupe, and tomatoes); vitamin E (wheat germ, sunflower oil, safflower oil, green leafy vegetables, almonds, peanuts, breakfast cereal); zinc (almonds, cashews, beans, chickpeas, chicken, oysters, peanuts, pork and yogurt); cartenoids (spinach, broccoli, brussel sprouts, peas, kale, egg yolks); omega-3 fatty acids (fish, fish oil, flaxseed oil)3
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Stop smoking
  • Wear sunglasses
  • Exercise regularly
  • Manage diabetes
  • Manage blood pressure
  • Rest eyes when at the computer – 20/20/20 rule: every 20 minutes focus on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds
  • Get regular eye exams

Red Flags

Watch for these warning signs and come to Colorado Ophthalmology & Associates right away if you experience any of them.2

  • Sudden flashes of lights or dark flashes
  • Sudden blurry vision or loss of vision
  • Eye pain
  • Double vision
  • Swollen eyelid
  • Swollen eye
  • New floaters
  • Fluctuating vision or distortions
  • Loss of side vision

Get an annual checkup

To protect your vision as you age, call today at one of our two Colorado locations in Denver or Lakewood and get an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam. Our board-certified ophthalmologists are ready to help you by tracking your vision changes as you age and addressing your concerns.

            Denver: 303-320-1777

            Lakewood: 303-989-2023

1 https://www.aoa.org/healthy-eyes/eye-health-for-life/adult-vision-41-to-60-years-of-age?sso=y

2 https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/aging-and-your-eyes

3 https://www.forbes.com/health/healthy-aging/how-to-improve-eyesight/

   

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