Taking Care of the Aging Eyes

Age-related farsightedness sets in at about age 40 or 45, but even at 35 some may already begin to have trouble reading newspaper and mags, recipes, menus, prescription labels, and anything else printed in a small type.

This is why an older person often needs glasses with bifocal lenses, the power portion of his glasses being of stronger power for close vision, while the upper portion allows him to see more freely at a distance. As our eyes age, we cannot prevent normal age-related changes to occur:

  • Reduced visual acuity - ability to see small details
  • Reduced contrast sensitivity - harder to see differences between light and dark objects and surfaces
  • Color perception weakens - yellowing of the lens makes it difficult to distinguish greens from blues, orange from red, and blue from violet, etc.
  • Reaction time decreases - it takes longer for eyes to transition to different light levels; and
  • Increased sensitivity to glare.

While changes differs from person to person, for many problems, there are things we can do to protect our vision.


Protect the Eye from the Sun and Glaring Lights

Source

The sun's glare can be hurtful on the eye and can severely affect visual acuity and comfort. Because the aging eye loses the ability to accommodate, the muscles of the eye have to work harder. Glare from reflections and bright lights results to eye fatigue. When a person squints, it means the eye is experiencing discomfort.

The solution is to make seeing easier. Windows must have woven shades or sheer draperies to filter the daylight and control glare. Light scatters within the aging eye can increase sensitivity to glare which hampers the ability to see subtle details at lower light levels.

Because UV rays are always present outdoors, on sunny days and even cloudy days, your lenses, therefore, should always provide UV protection to help control the amount and type of light that reaches the eye. This can improve eye performance by enhancing contrast, colors and visibility. Sunglasses should be large and wrap around a little. For extra protection, wear a wide-brimmed hat.

If your eyes are exposed to a computer, consider wearing glasses particularly prescribed for computer use. Anti-reflective lenses dramatically reduce disturbing reflections and provides comfort in difficult lighting situations. Of course, don't forget to choose charming frames.


Boost Lighting at Home and at Work

Gentle lighting is tender care
Gentle lighting is tender care | Source

As eyes age, pupil response slows and vision diminishes in especially dim or bright light. Blurring vision and headaches are results of inadequate lighting while reading. The room to do most reading, writing and even sewing should have lighting that illuminates the area attractively. Abundant natural daylight that comes from the skylight or windows excellently can provide proper lighting that is easy on the eyes. But, where possible, combine general light with directed or task lighting.

Light-colored walls and ceilings are best because they diffuse the light in all directions. According to the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), good lighting for aging eyes includes the use of general, ambient lighting that is consistent from one room to another; higher light levels to compensate for the mature eye’s restricted ability to absorb light; glare-free lighting; and lighting that helps the aging eye to distinguish between colors and compensate for the yellowing of the human lens over time.

Be Aware of the Eye's Risk Factors

Work hand in hand with experts
Work hand in hand with experts | Source

Age 40 seems to be the beginning of diminishing eyesight for most. The older we get, the more we are prone to eyestrain.

It is only practical to have regular eye exams to spot problems early. It would be easy to know what genetic factors, lifestyle choices, diseases, and exposures place the eye in a higher risk category for certain diseases. There may have few or no early symptoms, regular eye exams are still your best protection. When your eye care professional finds a problem early, you can work hand in hand together towards preventive measures, treatment, and follow-up care.

The key is to don't ignore warning signs.

Maintain Healthy Habits

Plentiful rest makes you and all things around beautiful
Plentiful rest makes you and all things around beautiful | Source

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Vitamins A (beta-carotene), C, and E and the mineral zinc have been shown to promote eye health. Get enough sleep to prevent the eyes from being overtired. If you really have to work longer on a computer, take frequent breaks from the computer screen, or reading materials.

Give your eyes enough sleep, your eyes will be refreshed along with the rest of your body. Remember that plenty of rest can make you, your work, and the things around you, beautiful. Last but not the least - stop smoking. Caring for the aging eyes completes the list on how to increase life span.

Like us, our eyes also get tired
Like us, our eyes also get tired | Source

When the Eyes Are Not Well

When the eyes are not well, the trouble may be due to prolonged periods of reading, poor lighting, working at the computer or other close activities that require a lot of eye concentration. Our eyes can express how we feel knowingly or unwittingly in a way that is often more powerful spoken than words.

To us writers, a major culprit in causing eye strain has just got to be working at our computer screens for extended periods. Not only does the screen produce glare which affects the eyes negatively, but also the way we work by means of staring A LOT to computer screen for long periods.

Eye sore symptoms include sore eyeballs, headaches, back and neck aches, drooping eyelids and blurred vision. The radiation emitted from techno gadgets, and the reduced blinking due to the eye being fixed on the screen are the main factors that cause eye stress.

Special tips:

You can also avoid eye strain when you're reading by blinking frequently and taking a moment to focus on something out the window or across the room every 15 to 30 minutes. Try Yogic Exercises for the Eye.

Position the monitor in a way that avoids direct daylight upon the screen. If using an adjustable task light, direct light should be upon the desk and not on the screen.

If your eyes get dry and scratchy ... you're not alone.
If your eyes get dry and scratchy ... you're not alone. | Source

Moisturizing Eye Drops!

Thanks to KJ force, moisturizing eyedrops truly can refresh tired dry eyes.

This is a sort of soothing therapy to provide the eye moisture and protect them against further irritation due to lack of tears - a condition that is commonly due to a blockage of the oil secreting glands in the eyes. Though this does not usually affect vision, still providing instant relief for burning, irritated dry eyes including exposure to computers, outdoors, heating, and air conditioning, pays a lot.

Is there anything else you want to add? That would really be nice. Let me know and I'll include them in the list.:=)

Let's take care of our eyes!

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Comments 24 comments

Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 3 years ago from Central Texas

Great Hub and I hope all follow the information therein -- as I didn't. I failed to get my eyes checked for some years although my vision was getting worse and worse. When I finally went the doc found a hole in the macula of the left eye that was so big it couldn't get any bigger -- and the surgery to fix it (or attempt to) only was about 30% it would be successful. So -- pay attention to eyes! Best/Sis


Bedbugabscond profile image

Bedbugabscond 3 years ago from United States

I have used a lot of these tips and I am still glasses free. It is a success for me because I am the only person in my family who doesn't wear them. I think the most important thing I do is protect my eyes against the sun.


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 3 years ago from San Francisco

Thank you for this useful advise.


Tonipet profile image

Tonipet 3 years ago from The City of Generals Author

Hello Angela,

It was good that you finally went for medical help, things could've gotten worst had you continued ignoring. You're not alone, I guess...there's so many of us, (yes me too, hehe) seemed to keep the eye for granted. I'm in my mid 40's and I find it fortunate to get educated, as well, and in my own hub! bravo!:=) Thanks for sharing, your experience will be lesson for us to pay attention to. I hope you already had the surgery and that with extra care this time, you can make up to it. Happy caring, happy eyes and happy days all the time. -Tonette


Tonipet profile image

Tonipet 3 years ago from The City of Generals Author

Hi there Bedbugabscond,

Wow, glasses-free - for a writer, that is amazing! Your eyes are even happier. Your family, your own kids and even friends will secretly admire you for that. I never go daytime swimming without dark sunglasses. It may sound inconvenient, but it helps protect my eyes from the glare of the sun, however, I can't read and write without the help of my glasses, anymore. You are a perfect example to us. Thank you for reading and leaving an inspiration. Appreciated a lot.

:=)Keep those happier eyes on the go!- Tonette


Tonipet profile image

Tonipet 3 years ago from The City of Generals Author

You're welcome, Martin. It's good to hear you find the tips useful. Blessings for healthier eyes, lovelier days and more limericks to come! :=) -Tonette


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

I do all the things you have listed but i must admit that i am at the computer too much, taking small breaks is a reminder. Thank you. I have a desk light that i keep on, sometimes i shine it on the screen, so i see that is not good. Thank you again...Very helpful hub.....


kj force profile image

kj force 3 years ago from Florida

Tonipet...well researched write.. thanks for bringing this important message to attention, as many do overlook the eyes.., dry eyes are common for those who exercise/run/swim/read/computer/write... so moisturizing eyedrops along with sunglasses can help protect..whether it is snow or sun the retina can be damaged..I also wear tinted lenses when on the computer..sunglasses ( daytime) 24/7 ( since college)...NO other glasses yet ! Very interesting and helpful hub..Kudos...


Tonipet profile image

Tonipet 3 years ago from The City of Generals Author

Hi Ruby,

Direct light should be upon the desk and not on the screen. Shining the direction of your task light on the computer screen results to glare that's either too dark or too bright that can lead the eyes to struggle to make out the images on the screen. So not anymore :=)... your eyes will love you more. Thank you for reading and best of all :=) -Tonette


Tonipet profile image

Tonipet 3 years ago from The City of Generals Author

KJ, hello!

I am guilty of overworking my eyes. I am forgetting that they are not as healthy as they were 20 years ago. I started to feel eyestrain during college (no sunwear)... it was only when I entered 30's that I started to wear UV protection. Moisturizing eyedrops, good tip! I should be including that in the hub, thanks to you. I really appreciate.

Happy eyes all the time! :=)-Tonette


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 3 years ago

Your advise is wise, you have to protect your eyes and it does matter as you age. Great post and so well written.


Tonipet profile image

Tonipet 3 years ago from The City of Generals Author

Hi teaches. It truly is wise to care for the health, and the eye is one of the most precious possessions. I wish we all will not take our eyes for granted. Thank you for reading. It's always nice hearing from you. A blessed week!


Sueswan 3 years ago

Hi Tonipet

Thank you for sharing this informative and invaluable hub. Our eyesight is precious.

Voted up


Tonipet profile image

Tonipet 3 years ago from The City of Generals Author

My dear Sue. For all the things the eye has made to give us light, truly its invaluable and so deserving of special care. Thank you for reading my hub, glad you made it by. Appreciate you vote. A God-filled week ahead.


girishpuri profile image

girishpuri 3 years ago from NCR , INDIA

Thank you for sharing this valuable hub. God bless.


Tonipet profile image

Tonipet 3 years ago from The City of Generals Author

Hi girishpuri. It is fulfillment putting up something for the best of all. Thank you for the comment, and God bless you too. -:=)Tonette


Vellur profile image

Vellur 3 years ago from Dubai

Eyes are precious. Age affects eye sight and impairs vision. Great hub, useful and informative.


Tonipet profile image

Tonipet 3 years ago from The City of Generals Author

Thank you Vellur. When we age healthy, the eye does the same, when we take good care of them, they age gracefully, as well. Nice of you dropping by. Blessings!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean

Great hub and very timely for me. I forget to use those moisturizing drops. Thanks for reminding us of the importance of eye care--especially for writers.


Tonipet profile image

Tonipet 3 years ago from The City of Generals Author

Thank you Ms. Dora. It was KJ Force (a fellow hubber) who suggested on moisturizing drops. I too haven't even thought of it, oh my poor eyes, lol. Happy to remind you of this... or should I say, "us." Best wishes and be well. -Tonette


Delonte 24 months ago

Hats off to whveoer wrote this up and posted it.


Tonipet profile image

Tonipet 9 months ago from The City of Generals Author

Thank you Delonte. Glad you find the hub worth reading. Goodluck!

Tonette


kj force profile image

kj force 9 months ago from Florida

tonipet...thank you for the recognition in your article..

almost 2 years ago !! I underwent rebuilding of my leg and foot, due to " unknown etiology " (medial term for cause of a disease of abnormal conditions )..anyway rehab facility stay was required. Due to lack of education by many in the healthcare field regarding Type 2 Diabetes.. Meds were administered

" hap- , haphazardly "at the rehab facility which lead to Macular Edema.. and has drastically affected my eyesight !!!

I am dealing with for over a year now...

I will try to do an article on the subject...I now must use a voice command program to write....

will keep you posted on this matter...

Have regular check-ups and do eye exercises regularly...thanks agaib for the share..kj


Tonipet profile image

Tonipet 9 months ago from The City of Generals Author

Hello kj. Sorry I had no idea what you had to go through -- hope your leg and foot have got better. I've heard and read there are treatments to improve vision that has been affected by macular edema. I know how much you love to write -- but you have to be careful not to strain your eyes, might as well, don't push yourself writing, for now. The check-ups will help you -- and the eye exercises -- i bet they're exciting!

You're welcome for the share. Now let me wish you all the best. Take care and don't worry to much. Smile and be blessed. :) Hugs from me.- Tonette

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