Though some changes in vision are inevitable with age, your elderly loved one can still maintain his or her eye health with some minor lifestyle adjustments. Here are a few tips to help your loved one accomplish this.
Get Regular Screenings
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends adults older than age 65 get annual vision screenings. These screenings can help doctors diagnose eye diseases such as cataracts and glaucoma in their earlier stages, which gives seniors the chance to treat the condition promptly and slow the progress of vision loss.
Seniors with vision impairment may need assistance to be able to continue living safely at home. When considering elder care, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits.
The ultraviolet rays in sunlight can cause long-term damage to the eyes, including cataracts, macular degeneration, and retinal damage. Your loved one can protect his or her eyes from UV rays by wearing a high-quality pair of sunglasses. According to the American Optometric Association, seniors should choose sunglasses that contain the following:
- Gray lenses that are perfectly matched in color to allow for proper perception
- Lenses that are free of imperfections to prevent distortion
- Lenses that block 75 to 90 percent of visible light
- Lenses that screen out 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays
Tuna, salmon, mackerel, and other fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids help seniors maintain the health of the macula, which is the part of the eye used for central vision. Omega-3 fatty acids are also good for overall cardiovascular health and can protect the delicate blood vessels in the eyes.
Manage Chronic Health Conditions
If your loved one has high blood pressure or diabetes, it’s important for him or her to work with a doctor to manage the condition. Your loved one should also inform his or her optometrist about these chronic health conditions and how they’re being treated. If left untreated, hypertension and diabetes can damage the blood vessels in the eyes, which can lead to permanent vision loss.
Vision problems can be particularly challenging for seniors who are living with other conditions, especially dementia. Aging in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. However, they can still live independently at home with the help of professional dementia care. Palm Desert families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our caregivers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life.
Regular exercise increases circulation and oxygen levels throughout the body, including the eyes. It also reduces the risk of developing diabetes and other health conditions that can damage the eyes. Gentle exercises such as yoga, tai chi, and even walking are good choices for older adults.
Avoid Long-Term Use of Eye Drops
Over-the-counter eye drops are meant for temporary relief from minor eye conditions such as redness and dryness. If used for prolonged periods, eye drops can damage the eyes and mask a potentially serious condition. Encourage your loved one to see an eye doctor if he or she experiences persistent eye redness, vision changes, or other symptoms.
Not only does tobacco use increase your loved one’s risk for a range of serious health conditions, but it also makes vision loss more likely. Encourage your loved one to talk to his or her doctor about smoking cessation strategies.
There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional homecare. Palm Desert families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. If your loved one needs assistance with the challenges of aging, reach out to one of the knowledgeable, compassionate Care Managers at Home Care Assistance today at (760) 345-0001.