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 specific 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.
It usually occurs from the age of ten but often 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.
Keep an eye out for these visual changes
Such changes can include the appearance of gaps, dark spots, blurring, clouding or tunnel vision.
However, it’s essential 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 vital 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 key to look after your eyes.
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 regularly 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.
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.
For help and support to stop smoking, visit NHS smokefree.
Wear sunglasses to 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’, British Standard or UV400 marks.
Maintain your vision for longer
These key lifestyle changes can help you to see better and live better for longer.
However, it’s also essential to attend your regular sight test as it’s an essential health check.
If you’re over 65, a regular sight test means visiting the optician once a year.