The NCPC publishes periodic articles under the title "Planning for Eldercare". Each article is written to help families recognize the need for long term care planning and to help implement that planning. All elderly people, regardless of current health, should have a long term care plan. Learn More...
From its inception, the goal of the National Care Planning Council has been to educate the public on the importance of planning for long term care. With that goal in mind, we have created the largest and most comprehensive source of long term care planning material available anywhere. This material -- "Guide to Long Term Care Planning" -- is free to the public for downloading and printing on all of our web sites. Learn More...
The information below comes from the National Institute on Aging.
As you age, it is normal to notice changes in your vision. A few common changes for older adults include:
These problems are often easily corrected. Glasses, contact lenses, and improved lighting may help and enable you to maintain your lifestyle and independence.
Your risk for some eye diseases and conditions increases as you grow older, and some eye changes are more serious. Keep your eyes as healthy as possible by getting regular eye exams so any problems can be spotted early.
Have your eyes checked regularly by an eye care professional - either an ophthalmologist or optometrist. Finding and treating any problems early can help protect your vision and prevent vision loss. Make a list of your questions and concerns to share with the doctor. Tell them which medications you are taking. Some can affect your eyes.Eye doctor using medical equipment to examine an older adults eyes.
Normal changes in the aging eye usually do not harm your vision. However, sometimes they can be signs of a more serious problem. For example, your eyes may leak tears. This can happen with light sensitivity, wind, or temperature changes. Sunglasses and eye drops may help. Sometimes, leaking tears may be a symptom of dry eye or sign of an infection or blocked tear duct. Your eye care professional can treat these problems.
Many people don't notice any signs or symptoms in the early stages of eye diseases. A dilated eye exam performed by an eye care professional is the only way to find some common eye diseases while they're easier to treat - and before they cause vision loss. Everyone over age 50 should have a dilated eye exam every year or as recommended by your eye care professional, even if you have good vision and don't wear contacts or glasses. After age 60, you should get a dilated eye exam every year or two. Most people with diabetes or high blood pressure need to get a dilated exam at least once a year.
During this exam, the eye care professional will put drops in your eyes to widen (dilate) your pupils so that he or she can better see inside each eye. Your vision may be blurry after the exam, and your eyes may be more sensitive to light. This only lasts a few hours. Make plans for someone else to drive you home.
If you wear glasses or contact lenses, get your prescription checked, too. Even small changes in sight can increase your risk for falls and injuries. It's important to use the proper prescription glasses or contact lenses.
See your primary health care provider regularly to check for diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure. These diseases can cause eye problems if not controlled or treated.
There are things you can do to take good care of your eyes and help keep them healthy as you age:
The following eye problems can lead to vision loss and blindness in older adults. They may have few or no early symptoms. Regular eye exams are your best protection. If your eye care professional finds a problem early, often there are things you can do to protect your vision.
See an eye care professional right away if you:
Low vision means you cannot fix your eyesight with glasses, contact lenses, medication, or surgery. Low vision affects some people as they age. You may have low vision if you:
If you have any of these problems, ask your eye care professional to test you for low vision.
Vision rehabilitation programs and special aids, such as a magnifying device, can help you adapt to vision loss and make the most of your remaining sight. Remember to ask your eye doctor if it is safe for you to drive with your vision. If you have to stop driving, organizations in your area may be able to arrange rides for you, or public transportation may be available.
Other Tips That May Help:
National Eye Institute
NIH National Library of Medicine