If you're coming up on your 60th birthday, or you've recently reached that milestone, it's time to start worrying about your eyes. You might not realize this, but your eyes can go through a lot of changes once you reach your senior years. In fact, about one in three people experience some type of vision loss or eye disease by their 65th birthday. Because of that increased risk, now's the time to focus on your eye health. Here are four steps you can take right now to safeguard your vision.
Visit an Ophthalmologist
If you've reached your 60th birthday, it's time to schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist, even if you're not experiencing vision problems. Because vision can change rapidly after your 60th, it's important for your ophthalmologist to test your vision. This initial vision examination will allow the ophthalmologist to track your vision from that point. You should see your ophthalmologist once every 2-4 years until you reach the age of 65. Once you turn 65 years of age, you should see your ophthalmologist once a year.
Know Your Vision History
If you've turned 60 years of age, take the time to document your vision history. This should include any vision problems you've experienced in the past, as well as any eye injuries you might have sustained. If your parents suffered from age-related vision problems, you should document those issues as well. This information will help your ophthalmologist take steps to protect your vision.
Prevent Eye Damage
Now that you've turned 60, you'll need to take additional steps to prevent eye damage. Even minor eye damage can cause vision problems, especially during your senior years. First, always protect your eyes when going outside. This should include wearing sunglasses, or a wide-brimmed hat. Next, if you smoke, it's important that you stop. You might not realize this, but smoking can cause serious damage to your eyes. Finally, if you wear contact lenses, make sure you change them on a regular basis. Wearing the same pair of contact lenses for too long can increase your risk for eye infections.
Watch for Vision Changes
Finally, if you've celebrated your 60th birthday, now's the time to start monitoring your vision. Watching your vision for signs of changes will allow you to contact your ophthalmologist in a timely manner. Some of the vision changes you should watch out for include cloudiness, floaters, blind spots, and flashing lights. Those signs can all be an indication of serious vision problems. Luckily, with a quick response, most age-related vision problems can be treated.