If we are to take to heart the proverb, “The eye is the mirror of the soul,” then it may be a good idea to make sure our eyes are in topnotch condition. While many of us take great pains to exercise, eat nutritious meals to stay in good physical health, we don’t pay as close attention to the health of our eyes. Just as the rest of our body ages, it is normal for our eyes to change as we age. How often do we put off going for a regular eye exam and instead try compensating by turning on more lights or holding the newspaper at arm’s length?
Eye diseases become more common as we age; but the good news is that many eye problems can be prevented or corrected if detected in their early stages. One of the first steps in caring for your eyes is to distinguish between vision changes that are normal to the aging process and vision changes that may be signs of disease that only a doctor can diagnose. If you have noticed some changes in your vision such as difficulty seeing at night or when reading, blurred vision or difficulty distinguishing colors, it’s time to schedule an eye exam. It is also important if you are a caregiver for an aging relative or friend, to help them understand that proper eye care is a significant component of their overall health care.
January is designated as Eye Care month – make it your New Year’s resolution to have your annual eye exam as well as one for those you care for. Want to learn more? mmLearn.org offers an excellent video resource for taking care of your eyes as part of the Ask the Geriatrician series. Dr. Joseph E. Zayac, will provide an overview of signs, symptoms and treatment of the aging eye.