By the age of 60, you’ve seen a lot, and it’s all thanks to your eyes. But like other aspects of health, eyesight naturally declines with age. Does it mean the fun is over? Definitely not. It’s never too late to take care of your eyes, even at 60 or older.
To start, handle eye problems as soon as you see them – literally. This means regular trips to the eye doctor so you can find issues in the early stages. From there, a doctor can help you slow things down. Not sure what to look for? Watch out for these common age-related changes, and how to treat your peepers well.
Common Age-Related Eye Changes
Eyesight begins to decline around 40, which you probably already knew. By 60, other issues might crop up.
Presbyopia is a fancy word for the inability to see close objects or small print. It’s a slow, gradual, and very normal.
If you’re holding a magazine at arm’s length, presbyopia is probably at play. Your doctor will likely recommend over-the-counter reading glasses.1
Does everything look cloudy? You probably have a cataract or a clump of protein that blurs vision. More than 50 percent of Americans over age 80 have a cataract or have had surgery, which is common and safe. Other symptoms include poor night vision, faded colors, and glares.2
Glaucoma develops when eye pressure increases. If it builds up, pressure can damage the optic nerve and cause vision loss and eventually blindness.3 High blood pressure and family history are major risk factors.
At first, glaucoma doesn’t cause pain or symptoms, but regular check-ups will catch it early.4
4. Eye Floaters
Floaters sound cute, but they’re far from it. They develop when the eye’s vitreous humor, a jelly-like substance, disintegrates with age. When light passes through your eye, debris casts shadows and causes specks called floaters.
After age 50, eye floaters are common and not dangerous. However, if you can’t see or have pain, talk to your doctor ASAP.5
5. Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, damages the macula. This is the tiny spot near the retina’s center that helps vision stay sharp. AMD won’t cause blindness, but vision loss can make it hard to do everyday things.
The early stages cause little to no symptoms. Regular check-ups are the only way AMD can be caught and treated.6
How To Take Care Of Your Eyes At Age 60 And Beyond
Now is prime time to care about eye health. Obviously, you can’t turn back time, but it matters what you do from now on.
1. Get Regular Check-Ups
Most conditions don’t cause symptoms until later stages, but complete eye exams will find issues before they worsen. After age 65, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends an ophthalmologist appointment every 1 to 2 years.7
2. Eat Well
Aside from carrots, all fruits and veggies will help your peepers. Leafy greens are especially healthy. Omega-3 fats, which are found in fish like salmon and tuna, are also smart choices.8
Eyes need blood and oxygen, just like the rest of your body. Regular exercise gives them both! If you suffer from joint pain or other ailments, do gentle workouts like walking and yoga.[ref]Tips for Eye Health in Adults Over 60. American Academy of Ophthalmology.[/ref]
Try to keep a regular sleep schedule. During the day, receptors in the eyes absorb natural light, which then control the internal body clock. Sleeping all day will deprive the eyes of light.
Moreover, sleep lubricates the eyeballs and prevents dryness.9
5. Wear Sunglasses
While you need some natural light exposure, too much is bad news. Wear sunglasses to protect eyes from the sun’s harsh ultraviolet rays. The Centers for Disease Control recommends buying sunglasses that shield 99 to 100 percent of UV-A and UV-B rays.10
Eyesight lets you see the beautiful world around us. Make eye health a priority – today, and every day!
|↑1||8 Areas of Age-Related Change. MedlinePlus, National Library of Medicine.|
|↑2||Facts About Cataract. National Eye Institute.|
|↑3||Glaucoma. National Eye Institute.|
|↑4||Facts About Glaucoma. National Eye Institute.|
|↑5||Eye Floaters. American Association of Retired Persons.|
|↑6||Facts About Age-Related Macular Degeneration. National Eye Institute.|
|↑7||Vision Screening Recommendations for Adults Over 60. American Academy of Ophthalmology.|
|↑8, ↑10||Eye Health Tips. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.|
|↑9||Tips for Eye Health in Adults Over 60.|
American Academy of Ophthalmology.