Have you ever thought about how vision changes as we age?

Not only does ageing bring changes to our sight, but it also increases our risk of developing an eye health condition.

How does eyesight change as we age?

Visual changes due to age can make it difficult to focus on objects, distinguish certain colours or adjust between bright and dim lit conditions.

If this sounds familiar, you may benefit from wearing reading glasses or brighter lighting around your home.

Why does our vision change?

Presbyopia is the reason that our vision naturally declines over time, as the lens inside our eye stiffens.

This usually occurs from the age of ten but usually doesn’t become noticeable until our mid-to-late-forties.

You don’t need to worry as it’s a natural part of the ageing eye and it happens to everyone.

Your family’s eyesight and eye health may also indicate how your vision may change as you age.

Keep an eye out for these visual changes

Other visual changes can indicate a common eye condition such as cataracts, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.

Such changes can include the appearance of gaps, dark spots, blurring, clouding or tunnel vision.

However, it’s important to be aware that pain in your eye is not a normal visual change or a symptom of common eye conditions.

If your vision suddenly deteriorates, your eye is painful and red or you see a shadow in your vision, you must make an emergency opticians appointment.

It’s important to seek treatment within 24 hours to help prevent any sight loss.

Look after your eyes

Your lifestyle can help determine what your vision will be later in life, so it’s important to look after your eyes.

Here we look at how daily eye care can help you to preserve your vision.

Balanced diet

Having a balanced diet that is rich in green, leafy vegetables and oily fish can help prevent the development of eye conditions.

These foods are rich in protein, omega-3 and provide you with the vitamins and minerals that your body needs.

Exercising frequently can also help to keep your blood pressure low and avoid diabetes.

If you do have diabetes it is essential to supplement your check-ups and treatment with a healthy diet.

Stop smoking

Avoiding smoking can help to half your risk of developing macular degeneration in your later years.

The sooner you quit, the better your chances of protecting your eyes.

Both your eye health and overall health will benefit from quitting smoking.

Wear sunglasses

Wearing sunglasses can protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.

UV rays can increase your risk of temporary sight loss, macular degeneration and cataract.

When purchasing sunglasses, look out for the ‘CE’ or British Standard mark to help protect your vision!

Help maintain your vision

These important lifestyle changes can help you to see better and live better for longer.

However, it’s just as important to attend your regular sight test to identify and monitor any eye conditions.

Making some lifestyle changes and practising daily eye care between visits to your optician can help maintain vision for longer.

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