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How eyesight changes after 60

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While our hair and skin regenerate often, the lenses of our eyes are with us for life. As our eyes get older, they become more prone to issues. It’s likely that once we reach our 60’s we will notice the need for vision correction.

Many eye conditions can lead to vision loss but often present no noticeable issues or symptoms until they reach an advanced stage. For this reason, regular eye check-ups will become increasingly more important as you approach the big ‘6-0’.

Age-related conditions

Whilst we should regularly have our eyes tested throughout our lives, there are certain conditions that become more likely as our eyes age. We’ve listed some below:

Presbyopia: The inability to see close objects clearly, presbyopia, occurs in almost everyone. It typically becomes more noticeable from the age of 40 and onwards. Thankfully, it’s usually corrected with reading glasses or contact lenses designed for presbyopia

Cataracts: A common condition, a cataract is when the lens becomes cloudy, resulting in a decrease of vision. Symptoms typically include blurred sight, colours appearing faded, and difficulty with night vision. In most cases, a simple operation can treat this condition.

Floaters: Specks, spots or narrow strands that drift across your field of vision are known as floaters. Everyone can experience them, but occasionally they may be indicative of a serious eye condition. Seek advice if you’re noticing large amounts or an increase in number that are obscuring your vision, or flashes of light.

Glaucoma: A build-up of fluid within the eye causes the internal pressure to increase, which damages the optic nerve. As loss of vision occurs slowly, sufferers usually don’t notice any symptoms until a later stage. Treatment is usually carried out using eye drops or injections, depending on the type that you have.

Age-related macular degeneration: Commonly referred to as AMD, this eye disease affects the macular, which is responsible for our central vision. You’d be able to look at a clock and see the outline thanks to your peripheral vision but being able to see the hands to tell the time could prove difficult. Early diagnosis and treatment are important to prevent vision loss.  

Caring for your eyes

For most of us, the deterioration of our vision is inevitable. The good news is that there are several lifestyle choices we can make to maintain healthy vision for as long as possible:

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Diet

Having a balanced, healthy diet is not only great for your overall health, but also for your eyes. Leafy greens are full of antioxidants that can help to prevent macular degeneration. Check out our Top five foods article for some tips on keeping your eyes happy and healthy.

Running in the sunshine

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Exercise

Healthy eyes require an adequate level of blood and oxygen supply. Regular exercise is always good for us, and it can help reduce the risk of conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure – both of which can cause issues with our vision.

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Sleep

Who doesn’t love a lie-in? Catching z’s doesn’t just help clear our mind and relax our bodies… sleeping provides moisture to our eyes, keeping them lubricated. This helps clear irritants and debris from the course of the day.

Cigarette burning

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Smoking

It’s common knowledge that smoking is bad for our bodies, generally focusing on our lungs. It also affects our eyes. Smoking has been shown to increase the risk of conditions such as age-related macular degeneration. There’s plenty of help out there if you’re thinking of quitting.

Holding a pair of sunglasses in the sun

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Sunglasses

Weather in the UK can be hot and cold – sunny one moment and raining the next. For this reason, it can be easy to think the sun has little impact on our eyes. Particularly during spring and the summer months, strong sunlight can damage them. UV rays can increase the risk of cataracts or AMD, so always keep a pair of sunnies handy.

There are lots of ways to keep your eyes in tip-top shape, no matter your age. Not to mention that once you hit your 60s, you’re eligible for free eye tests through the NHS.