Vision Taken for Granted

In order to promote and maintain good vision as you age, you can take steps to care for your eyes. Always wear sunglasses or a brimmed hat to protect your eyes from the harmful UV rays. As the body ages, the eyes will need more light to see, and it will become more difficult to distinguish between shades of color. As a result, it is important to increase the lighting in the home and eat a balanced diet that includes vitamin A to keep the eyes healthy. Keeping conditions such as diabetes and high cholesterol under control will also have a great impact in your vision. Schedule regular eye exams--at least once every two years. If you already have eyeglasses or contacts, then visits to the eye doctor should be scheduled annually.

If you wear contacts, always keep your eyeglasses frames on hand should something happen to your contacts. Never sleep in your contacts if you can help it, as this will greatly decrease the amount of oxygen that gets to your eyes and make the contacts a breeding ground for all sorts of bacteria. Make sure your hands are clean when putting your contacts in, and always be sure to rinse your contacts with solution. Never use water to clean your contacts, because chemicals in the water supply could lead to problems.

Whether or not you wear glasses or contacts, when using the computer frequently, your eyes are likely to strain. Make sure the room is properly lit and that you blink frequently to fight against eye dryness. If your eyes do get excessively dry, use an eye drop modeled after tears, rather than something meant to draw the redness out. Change focus and look at something else often while you are working on the computer to put less strain on your eyes.

If at any time you feel pain or a change in vision, then seek the care of a medical professional right away. This is the most important step in keeping the problem from getting worse and in ensuring that it is properly handled. The best advice is to avoid touching your eyes or rubbing them, especially if your hands are not clean. This will avoid infections such as “pink eye,” which is a highly contagious, painful condition of the eye, commonly seen in children.

Kids Health is full of information on eye care, problems with the eyes, and ways people often neglect their eyes. There is information about being nearsighted, farsighted, and having astigmatism. This will help children understand eye problems and appropriate eye care.

Preventing Blindness America provides information on how to take care of your sight. This resource will provide a vision test for adults, help find an eye care professional, and also provide information about vision and aging, including an assessment for age related macular degeneration and other conditions.

Preventing Blindness America also gives key information about preventing eye injuries. If at any time you will be working with objects that may harm your eyes, you should wear protective glasses. If anything ever gets in your eyes, flush them with water as best you can and contact a medical professional as soon as possible.