NIHSeniorHealth.gov, the website for older adults, makes aging-related health information easily accessible for family members and friends seeking reliable, easy-to-understand online health information. This site was developed by the National Institute on Aging and the National Library of Medicine, both part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
NIHSeniorHealth features authoritative and up-to-date health information from the NIH. In addition, the American Geriatrics Society provides expert and independent review of some of the material found on this website. Health topics include general background information, open-captioned videos, quizzes, and frequently asked questions (FAQs). New topics are added to the site on a regular basis. Here is a sample of FAQs patients may ask regarding long-term care.
Below are FAQs regarding Healthy Eyes.
Is vision loss a normal part of aging?
As you age, it is normal to experience some changes in your vision, such as difficulty adjusting to glare, and distinguishing some colors, particularly shades of blue and green. Some common vision problems require glasses or contacts to see clearly and up close. However, these changes can be easily corrected and won’t lead to vision loss or blindness.
Remember, vision loss is not a normal part of aging. In fact, you can live an active lifestyle well into your later years without ever experiencing vision loss.
What vision changes might I experience as I get older?
As you get older you may experience some common vision problems that require glasses or contact lenses. You may have trouble adjusting to glare or distinguishing some colors, particularly shades of blue and green.
What are some things I can do to keep my eyes healthy?
Your eyes are an important part of your health. There are many things you can do to keep them healthy and make sure you are seeing your best. Follow these simple steps for maintaining healthy vision well into your golden years.
- Get a comprehensive dilated eye exam.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Wear sunglasses.
- Wear protective eyewear.
- Quit smoking.
- Know your family health history.
- Keep your hands and contact lenses clean.
- Give your eyes a rest.
How does eating a healthy diet help me protect my vision?
Eating a healthy balanced diet is important for your overall health and wellbeing. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, particularly dark leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, or collard greens can help to keep your eyes healthy and disease free. Research has also shown there are eye health benefits from eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut.
How does wearing sunglasses protect my vision?
Sunglasses are a great fashion accessory, but their most important job is to protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
Some of the sun’s effects on the eyes include:
- Cataracts – a clouding of the eye’s lens that can blur vision. An estimated 20% of cases are caused by extended UV exposure.
- Macular degeneration – resulting from damage to the retina that destroys central vision. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in the United States.
- Pterygium (ter-RIDGE-ee-uhm) – a tissue growth over the white part of the surface of the eye that can alter the curve of the eyeball, causing astigmatism.
When purchasing sunglasses, choose ones that block 99% to 100% of both UVA and UVB radiation, so you can keep your vision sharp and eyes healthy. A wide-brimmed hat offers great protection, too.
For more information on eye health, visit the National Eye Institute.
Added July 13, 2017: A notice posted on the NIHseniorHealth.gov Website:
NIHseniorHealth.gov will be retired on August 1, 2017. To continue finding reliable, up-to-date health and wellness information for older adults from the National Institutes of Health, we’re referring you to https://medlineplus.gov/ or https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/.