Vision can sometimes deteriorate as we get older
Our vision is something that can deteriorate at different rates as we get older. Most of us who are over sixty and wear spectacles will have had a change to our lens prescription in recent years. Even if you have good vision it is important to protect your eyes from the sun by wearing sunglasses, and to get your eyes examined once a year.
As we age, macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy are the main causes of loss of vision in western societies. It can be very frightening to experience a sudden deterioration, even if we know the cause. Scroll down to see more information about these conditions.
What can be done to help an older person cope with the prospect of a permanent deterioration and the subsequent loss of independence?
Don’t panic and don’t lose hope. New developments are happening more rapidly than ever before, so improvements could become available at any time.
Whilst our vision is good, we don’t think about it. But if we did, we would find that it is essential to most of the things that we want to do:
- Travel – navigating where we are going , avoiding obstacles, safety
- Working – locating objects and information that we need to move, change, or communicate about
- Leisure – TV, movies, sport
- Social – Recognizing people
- Reading – Signs, books, newspapers, computer screens, smartphones
- Memory – its easier to remember things if we can see, for example our calendar helps us to remember our appointments
Deteriorating vision means that there may be some things that we can’t do for ourselves any more. Accepting this unwelcome fact may take some time and effort if we have been independent all our lives. If asking for help is not something we are used to, it can be a very difficult thing to do.
What can we do to help ourselves if our vision is deteriorating?
- De-cluttering and simplifying our homes will make finding the items we need that much easier
- Identify the every day items that we use constantly and decide on our best strategy to keep track of them
- Make a place for each essential item and always keep them in their place
- Make each item identifiable to us. If we have some vision, we can use color
- If we have very little vision, we can use texture, shape, position and even sound
- Use a white stick so that other people will know that we have low vision and might need help
- And most importantly, learn to ask for help when we need it.
Keep scrolling down for more information on what you can do to reduce the risk of your sight deteriorating.