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How Seniors Can Maintain Eye Health

By Jeff Hill, 9:00 am on March 14, 2016

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. The Phoenix elder care experts at Home Care Assistance have a few tips to help your loved one accomplish this.

Wear Sunglasses

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

Eat Fish

Tuna, salmon, mackerel, and other fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids help 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 help protect the delicate blood vessels of the eyes.

Manage Chronic Health Conditions

If your loved one has high blood pressure or diabetes, it is 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 are being treated. If left untreated, hypertension and diabetes can damage the blood vessels of the eyes, which can lead to permanent vision loss.

Exercise

Regular exercise increases circulation and oxygen levels throughout the body, including the eyes. It also reduces your loved one’s risk of developing diabetes and other health conditions that can damage the eyes. Gentle exercises such as yoga, tai chi, or 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.

To learn more about ways to help preserve your loved one’s eyesight as well as his or her overall health, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can help with meal prep, exercise, and many other important tasks. We also offer specialized Parkinson’s, stroke, and dementia care for Phoenix seniors who need more extensive assistance. Call 602.388.1085 today to request a free consultation with a friendly Care Manager.