Even though vision changes are a natural part of the aging process, seniors can take many different steps to preserve their eyesight. In addition to scheduling regular appointments with an eye doctor, older adults might also need to change some of their lifestyle habits if they want to keep their eyes healthy and strong. Here is a look at five tips seniors can use to enhance their vision and reduce their risk of common age-related eye diseases.
1. Spend Time Outside
A team of researchers from Cambridge University recently discovered that spending time outside is vital to eye health. Even though constantly being exposed to direct sunlight might negatively impact vision, a few minutes of ultraviolet light per day can reduce the risk of nearsightedness. These same researchers also claim that focusing on objects off in the distance strengthens the muscles that control the eyes.
If your loved one has limited vision, he or she may require assistance to accomplish daily tasks. Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional 24-hour care. Birmingham seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.
2. Take Breaks from Screens
According to a recent Nielsen report, the average American adult stares at a screen for around 10 hours a day. While the numbers for seniors aren’t quite as bad, they still spend a large percentage of their time looking at smartphones, tablets, and computer screens. Focusing on a screen for long periods dries out the eyes and weakens the optical muscles. The ideal way to avoid these issues is to take a break from screens for at least 10 or 15 minutes every hour. During this break, seniors should either close their eyes or focus on objects at alternating distances.
3. Eat Bright Fruits and Vegetables
Eye health starts with diet, and seniors who want to enhance their vision need to eat plenty of fresh produce. Most bright fruits and vegetables get their coloring from beta-carotene, flavonoids, and other nutrients that strengthen the eyes. Some of the best produce for eye health are lemons, berries, carrots, bell peppers, and zucchini. When preparing these fruits and vegetables, your loved one should avoid overcooking them because it can kill off the nutrients.
A professional caregiver can ensure your loved one eats healthy meals and enjoys a higher quality of life. Birmingham in-home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
4. Wear the Proper Eyeglasses
Wearing older eyeglasses or contact lenses is much more than a minor annoyance. Prescription eyeglasses are designed to boost vision while still challenging the eyes. If your loved one wears the same prescription for a long time, his or her eyesight may weaken. As a general rule, adults over the age of 65 should schedule an eye exam at least once a year to see if their prescription has changed.
5. Boost Heart Health
The heart pumps blood and other nutrients to the eyes, and damage to the cardiovascular system could result in vision impairments. Many of the risk factors for heart disease are also risk factors for macular degeneration, including smoking, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Your loved one needs to exercise regularly and stick to a healthy diet to protect his or her heart and eyes.
If your loved one is experiencing vision loss and has trouble accomplishing daily tasks, consider hiring a professional caregiver. There are a variety of ways your senior loved one can benefit from having a caregiver. Professional in-home caregivers from Home Care Assistance Birmingham are trained to assist with meal prep, mobility and exercise, personal hygiene tasks like bathing and grooming, medication reminders, and much more. To learn about our high-quality in-home care plans, give us a call at (205) 438-6927 today.