Aging Eyes: 3 Ways Seniors Can Protect Their Vision- As you age conditions that can impair your vision

Written by Contributor. Posted in Featured, Senior Living

Published on August 02, 2017 with No Comments

Fortunately, there are proactive steps you can take to see better and help keep eyes healthy.

1. Annual ophthalmology appointment.

Regular ophthalmological exams are critical, especially for seniors. Even if you think your vision is unchanged, it’s important to make an appointment annually. A thorough eye exam not only assesses prescription updates, it includes a range of tests looking for signs of cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration. Catching these issues early means earlier intervention and a greater chance at preserving your vision.

2. Monitor and treat macular degeneration.

Over 15 million Americans have macular degeneration (AMD), a progressive disease which can lead to severe central vision blind spots in both eyes. In the most advanced form, End-Stage AMD, it becomes difficult or impossible to recognize faces, read, watch TV or complete tasks requiring detailed vision. However, new advances are helping those living with macular degeneration. For example, the CentraSight treatment program uses a pea-sized telescope implant. Implanted in one eye only, the FDA-approved and Medicare-eligible device is proven to restore vision and improve quality of life those 65 and older. The other eye remains “as-is,” to maintain the patient’s peripheral vision, because some is lost in the operated eye after the out-patient surgery.

“Remarkably, within a few weeks after the telescope implant surgery, my mom was able read her newspapers from front to back, every little thing. Thankfully, she is also back to knitting and together we are watching English football on the weekends. It’s a huge relief to both of us that the surgery and training was a success,” said Jennifer Rowe of North Carolina.

After surgery, people work with a low vision therapist to learn how to use their new vision, practicing looking at things that are stationary or moving. The telescope implant is not a cure for End-Stage AMD. As with any medical intervention, potential risks and complications exist with the telescope implant. Possible side effects include decreased vision or vision impairing corneal swelling. Individual results may vary.

To learn more, visit CentraSight.com or call 877-99-SIGHT

3. Eat right.

Certain nutrients have been identified as good for eye-health. Be sure to get plenty of zinc, Vitamins E and C, lutein and zeaxanthin in your diet. While supplements can help you ensure you meet your daily requirements, you can also seek out foods that contain these nutrients. Sweet potatoes, flax seeds, leafy greens, eggs, citrus and nuts are all good choices. The good news is that these items can be good for your overall health as well.

Aging and Low Vision Facts:

Today, 6.5 million Americans over age 65 have a severe visual impairment, according to the Longitudinal Prevalence of Major Eye Diseases 2003 study. Experts predict that by 2030, rates of severe vision loss will double along with the country’s aging population (Prevent Blindness America’s Vision Problems in the U.S., 2002).

The first wave of the 78 million baby boom generation turns 65 in 2011, jumpstarting a two-decade period of growth in America’s 65 and older population (Administration on Aging). By 2030, the number of people over the age of 65 will double to 71.5 million, or 20 percent of the population.


Porter County Low Vision Support Group

Tuesday, Aug. 8

Low Vision Support Group

The Valparaiso Low Vision Support Group will hold a picnic and social night from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the VFW shelter at 705 N. Roosevelt Rd. in Valparaiso. Bring a dish to share; there are fees for dining. Register with Julie Young at 219-462-4340.


Tuesday, Aug. 22

Low Vision Support Group

The Valparaiso Low Vision Support Group will meet from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., in the first-floor in the Celebration Room at Pines Village Retirement Communities, 3303 Pines Vilage Ct. (Building behind Aperion Health Systems; formerly Whispering Pines Health Care Center, 3301 N. Calumet) in Valparaiso. Moderator:Verne R. Sanford, Topic is how to live with low vision.

We welcome all persons at our meetings, whether or not they have low vision.  Within Porter County and during daylight hours, call the Porter County Aging & Community Services bus at 219-462-4302 for a free door-to-door ride for the legally blind, or 50¢ each way for seniors, $1 each way for others.  Phone a week or two ahead.

For more information call Verne R. Sanford at 219-464-1867 or email Verne.sanford@valpo.edu.

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