Northwest Eye celebrates Healthy Aging Month by encouraging seniors to Be Eye Wise and understand the changes that occur to their eyesight as they grow older. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, two out of three Americans falsely believe vision loss is inevitable as we age. Sure, aging can affect your eyes — but vision loss is not the norm. Here are five ways to protect your eyes and your overall health as you age:
1. Health problems might show up first in your eyes. Routine eye exams are not only important for getting ahead of silent eye diseases — they are important for ensuring your overall health.
2. Knowing your family’s health history can protect your future. Identifying your risk factors is important for preventing serious eye diseases from sneaking up on you.
3. Healthy living is especially important as you age. Exercising, eating well and other healthy habits have always been important for every aspect of your health. Reducing the risk of certain health conditions, such as obesity or diabetes, will protect your eyes, too.
4. Low vision tools can help. Low vision is not a normal part of aging, but for those who do experience vision loss from an eye disease, there are several low vision tools that can help with maintaining independence. These range from smartphone apps that read text aloud to hand-held magnifiers.
5. Plan to get your eyes checked more often as you age. As you age, expect to get dilated eye exams more often, to make sure all is well with your eye health. Seniors over the age of 65 should see an ophthalmologist every one to two years.