Old age is associated with some health concerns, and the eyes are one of the most commonly affected organs. However, many age-related eye diseases can be prevented or managed by taking some simple advice from ophthalmologists. Encourage your elderly loved one to follow these tips to lower the risk of developing eye diseases.
Avoid Excessive Exposure to the Sun
UV rays not only cause skin cancer, but they can also damage eyesight and cause conditions such as cataracts. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of age-related blindness, and it can be caused or aggravated by exposure to UV rays. Your loved one should wear sunglasses with UV protection whenever he or she has plans to be out in the sun.
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Eat Healthy Meals
Like other organs in the body, the eyes need proper nutrition to function correctly. Doctors have learned vitamin A and vitamin C are necessary for eye function in old age. It is also important for seniors to eat plants with plenty of antioxidants and carotenoids. These compounds can protect the eyes from UV-related damage. Your loved one should try to eat orange, yellow, and leafy, dark green vegetables. Vitamin E and zinc are two other useful nutrients for preventing macular degeneration, so make sure to serve your loved one lean poultry, nuts, and legumes.
Get an Annual Eye Exam
Many eye diseases have no noticeable symptoms until they start impairing a senior’s vision. For an early diagnosis, your loved one should get comprehensive eye exams from a professional. A prompt diagnosis gives your loved one time to seek treatment before the condition becomes problematic. If your loved one is prescribed eye drops or other medications at one of these exams, he or she should continue to use them even when there are no noticeable symptoms.
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Stop Smoking and Drinking
Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption have been shown to increase the chances of getting cataracts. These habits can be problematic because they impair the body’s healing ability and damage tiny circulatory vessels. Encourage your loved one to stop smoking altogether and cut back on alcohol consumption.
Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
High blood sugar levels can damage the nerves of the eyes, ultimately leading to blindness. Since the body’s ability to manage blood sugar levels diminishes with age, it puts seniors at risk of losing their eyesight. To prevent diabetic retinopathy, it is important for your loved one to manage blood sugar levels with diet, exercise, medication, and other treatments prescribed by the doctor.
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 live-in care. Lehigh Valley seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. Get in touch with one of the professional Care Managers at Home Care Assistance at 484-350-3874 and create a customized care plan for your elderly loved one.