Vision loss is a normal part of getting older. Being intentional about our vision health can help seniors stay engaged and continue to do the activities that bring them joy.
Seniors and their families should take steps to ensure that they have the support they need to thrive. Ignoring vision issues can lead to feelings of social isolation, loss of independence, and withdrawal from normal activities.
It’s an issue that seniors and their loved ones should be vigilant about, as approximately 12 million people in the United States age 40 years and over have vision impairment. There are also 1 million people who are legally blind, 3 million people who have vision impairment after correction, and 8 million who have vision impairment due to uncorrected refractive error.
There are many steps we can take to keep our eyes healthy as we age. Eating right, exercising, avoiding excessive screen time, and even keeping an active social life can support our vision health.
Eating for Your Eyesight
Eating nutritious food is one of the most proactive ways seniors can maintain good eye health. There are a variety of foods that contain vitamins and nutrients that help with eye health. Foods like kale, carrots, sweet potatoes, and salmon are all good for the eyes.
According to WebMD, leafy greens like spinach kale and collards, eggs, nuts, beans, and other non-meat protein sources are ideal for eye health. In addition, oranges and other citrus fruits or juices also bode well for eye health.
Conversely, foods to avoid for eye health include fatty meats, high-fat condiments, rich dressings, and any foods containing saturated fats.
Benefits of Exercise For Healthy Eyes
Along with diet, a regulated physician-recommended exercise regimen can help with overall health and have benefits for the eyes, too. Increased blood circulation can remove toxins while also increasing oxygen levels in the eyes.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that regular exercise helps manage blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. The CDC also says that managing daily blood sugars with regular AIC tests helps manage diabetes, which can be harmful to your eyesight and can even lead to blindness.
Daily Activities and Eye Protection
Avoiding eye trauma and undue stress on your eyes is important. Wearing protective eyewear like sunglasses or goggles when appropriate is always a good idea. Chemicals and sharp objects should always be used with caution, especially around your eyes.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports every day about 2,000 U.S. workers sustain job-related eye injuries requiring medical treatment. However, safety experts and eye doctors believe the right eye protection can lessen the severity or even prevent 90 percent of eye injuries.
Screen time -- whether on a computer or smartphone device -- should always be top of mind for eye health. Good lighting, regular breaks, and the use of corrective eyewear can help seniors maintain eye health. There are so many options now for eyewear that are both stylish and practical as well as cool gadgets like reading lights that can make all the difference.
Regular Visits To Your Optometrists
Eye doctors are not only for people who wear glasses or contacts. As we age, changes to your vision and eye health can happen quickly so it’s important to care for our eyes like we do the rest of our body.
Seniors should get a vision test completed once a year and follow a doctor’s recommendations on treatment plans and ongoing eye care. With a little foresight, you can age healthy and see well in the process.
A Holistic Approach To Caregiving
At Comfort Keepers, we understand sometimes people suffering from vision loss can benefit from a little extra help at home.
Interactive Caregiving™ is our approach to elevating home care with compassion by focusing on the mind, body, nutrition, and safety of our clients. When our Comfort Keepers plan a day’s activities, they keep these four mainstays of Interactive Caregiving in mind.
For clients facing vision problems, our Comfort Keepers are there to help them keep eye appointments, notice changes in vision, or rearrange furniture to make their home safer. Comfort Keepers can also schedule activities that follow a senior’s prescribed vision care plan.
“Doing for” may get the task done, but “doing with” boosts the spirit and brings joy. It’s a holistic approach that promotes well-being and an active approach to life.
Learn More About How We Can Help
Contact Comfort Keepers today to learn more about how in-home care can make a difference in the lives of seniors in the community.