Eye HealthLifestyle Topics
Protect Your Sight Every Day
Wear a hat and sunglasses year round to prevent UV damage to your eyes.
Block Eye Allergies
Outside when pollen counts are high? Sunglasses or eyeglasses can help prevent pollen from getting in your eyes.
Smoking increases the risk of developing cataracts – quit or avoid smoking to help keep your eyes healthy.
"No Rub" a No Go
To prevent infection, use the "rub and rinse" method to clean your contacts, even with "no rub" solutions.
Don't Look Now
Never look directly at the sun, even when squinting or wearing sunglasses. Doing so can permanently damage your vision.
What Is an Ophthalmologist?
Are You Fit at 40?
A baseline eye exam is recommended at age 40, when the signs of disease and changes in vision may start to occur.
As we age, even people who do not have age-related eye diseases and who have good visual acuity may experience vision changes. Presbyopia, which begins in the late 30s or early 40s, usually continues to increase over time. Seniors may also notice:
- Eyes take longer to adjust and focus or don’t adjust very well when a person moves from a well-lit area to a poorly-lit area, or the other way around.
- Such problems in adjusting to light and dark can make driving more difficult, especially at night or in the rain. Driving may be even more challenging for people with eye diseases that reduce their peripheral (side) vision or increase their sensitivity to glare. To be on the safe side, the National Traffic Safety Administration recommends that elders take a driving course designed specifically for seniors, drive during daylight hours, reduce speed and be extra-cautious at intersections.
- It may become more difficult to distinguish an image from its background when subtle gradations of tone are involved. This is called loss of "contrast sensitivity."
Interestingly, research has found that the eye’s "rod" cells, responsible for the visual functions described above, are more likely to degrade with age than the "cone" cells, which are responsible for visual acuity and color vision. The health of rod cells is also more dependent on environmental factors such as nutrition, smoking, and excessive sun exposure, all of which we can control or choose, to some extent.