The truth about aging gracefully is that it requires some proactive efforts on your part, especially with regard to your health.
Of all five senses, eyesight is one of the first of the senses to start to decline. Eye health weakens as you get older, specifically between the ages of 41 and 60. Your vision changes quite a bit as you age. Many of the changes are normal with aging, but some changes could be a sign of something else that requires the attention of an eye doctor.
To be proactive about your eye health, the following are symptoms associated with potential eye health issues, as well as what the symptoms mean.
Some of the symptoms to watch for in weakened eye health include:
- Eye strain and/or eye fatigue. You may be experiencing eye strain if your eyes are sore, tired, burning or itching; your eyes are watering or dry; you have a sore neck, back pain and/or a headache; you notice an increased sensitivity to light; and/or you struggle with focusing.
- Blurred up-close vision. Have you noticed you can longer see fine details when you look at something? The inability to see the sharpness of an object may be an indication that you're suffering from blurred up-close vision.
- Frequent headaches. Headaches are common when you are straining to see due to declined or poor vision. These frequent headaches may be brought on by straining to see.
- Dry eyes. Dry eyes are associated with eye redness, sensitivity to light or a stinging/scratching sensation in your eyes.
The symptoms listed above—eye strain/eye fatigue, blurred up-close vision, frequency headaches and dry eyes—can mean many things.
These symptoms don't necessarily mean you are, in fact, suffering from declined eye health or poor vision—they are just symptoms to watch for that could potentially affect your eyesight and the health of your eyes. In terms of aging gracefully, these symptoms are not meant to scare you or cause unnecessary alarm; rather, it's important to be cognizant of these symptoms if you experience them.
Being proactive with your health, including your eye health, means to be aware of and take action when you notice any of these. If you experience any of these symptoms, consider seeing an eye doctor.
Contact and schedule an appointment today with an optometrist if you experience any of these symptoms.
When you see the doctor, keep these tips in mind to help the optometrist evaluate and diagnose:
- First and foremost, be honest with the optometrist about the exact symptoms you're experiencing. Don't leave anything out, even if you feel it isn't important. It's the optometrist's job to determine what's relevant and what's not, and to use all of the information he or she is provided with to diagnose.
- Be sure to describe the symptoms you're experiencing and any factors about those symptoms—when you're experiencing them, for example. Do you tend to get blurred up-close vision late at night? Do you get dry eyes when you're outside, not inside?
- Vision insurance can help reduce the cost of the appointment, as well as any further treatment or prescribed equipment, such as contact lenses, glasses, etc. If you don't currently have vision insurance because you haven't needed it before, which is common for many people, now is the time to consider getting a vision plan.