Print Page

Seeing is enjoying

Getting regular eye exams, even when you feel as though your vision is perfect, is a good way to minimize the typical side effects of aging with respect to vision.

A telltale sign that you're not as young as you used to be is when your senses start to diminish. Whether you're not hearing things as well as you once could or you've noticed your vision is no longer as sharp as it once was, dealing with diminishing senses can be a difficult adjustment to make. While such changes are inevitable, there are steps you can take to lessen the blow, especially if you've yet to reach an age where your senses have begun to lose a step.

Here are a few steps, courtesy of Prevent Blindness America, a leading eye health and safety organization, that people of all ages can take to minimize how much their vision diminishes.

•Schedule regular visits to the eye doctor. Eye checkups are just as important as overall health checkups. While not everyone needs to go every year, those 55 and older should go at least once every other year, or once a year, if possible. It's also important not to wait until something bothers you to see your eye doctor.

Also, since vision changes frequently, getting your eyes examined on a regular basis is important to make sure you're still wearing the most appropriate prescription.

•Make some easy lifestyle changes. If you've never been one to wear sunglasses, you might want to start. While sunglasses should be worn year-round when it's light out, they should be particularly worn during summertime, when UVB radiation is three times as high as it is during winter.

Another easy lifestyle change is to improve lighting around your house. If you've always been fond of dimly lit rooms, it's a good idea to add more lighting now, as better and more well-lit rooms are an aid to diminished vision.

•Take care of yourself. Proper healthcare is especially vital to maintaining strong vision. One of the most damaging side effects of diabetes is visual impairment. Avoiding diabetes can be done with proper diet and ample exercise. Monitoring your blood pressure regularly as well as your cholesterol level is good for overall health and can help you avoid diseases such as diabetes that may ultimately affect your vision in a negative way.

Taking care of yourself is also essential even for those people who have already begun to experience diminishing vision. Any medications you might be prescribed should not be taken lightly, and dosage recommendations should be strictly followed. If you wear glasses, make sure you always have them with you or wear them wherever you go if need be. Also, take note of any vision aids that might be helpful. These can include a magnifying glass if you're reading something with smaller print, such as a newspaper or magazine, or high-intensity reading lamps that will help you see the words on the page more clearly. Also, many bookstores now carry large-print editions of popular books that can make reading a lot less stressful on your eyes. If a bookstore doesn't carry such books, a visit to the store's Web site (if it's a large chain) or even a phone call to the book's publishing house will let you know if the book comes in large print.

Print Page