Age-related vision decline is a sadly common occurrence. As people age, the systems that have supported vision throughout their lives break down. The aging of the eyes produces lowered vision and can keep seniors away from driving, reading, and other activities they enjoy.
Dr. Ryan Shelton Zenith Labs Medical Research Director explains how seniors can support healthy eyesight as they age.
Conditions Affecting Seniors’ Sight
There are five common conditions that are most to blame where seniors’ declining eye health is concerned. All of these conditions can cause low vision or a vision problem that cannot be corrected with glasses or contacts. This can be disabling for many seniors can cause a decline in their quality of life.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
The first is AMD or age-related macular degeneration. Age-related macular degeneration progressively destroys the macula, the portion of the eye that brings about clear central vision.
AMD comes in two forms: wet and dry. Wet macular degeneration causes abnormal blood vessels to leak blood or fluid into the macula, or the portion of the retina that is responsible for central vision. Early treatment can help to preserve vision, and in some cases restore some lost vision.
Dry macular degeneration happens when the macula thins and reduces central vision. Dry macular degeneration can affect vision to a serious degree, but it is considered more treatable than wet macular degeneration.
There is no way to cure AMD, but ophthalmologists have several means of slowing the disease progression at their disposal, including injections given directly to the eye.
Cataracts are another leading cause of low vision in seniors. Cataracts are extremely common in people as they age, and the only effective treatment is surgery. In cataract surgery, the clouded lens is removed and replaced with an artificial lens. This clears up the patient’s vision and allows for several more years of effective eyesight.
Diabetic retinopathy is one of the most serious side effects of diabetes. Diabetes destroys the blood vessels in the retina. When diabetic patients remain in close contact with their ophthalmologists, they can catch this condition early and treat it with up to 95 percent efficiency.
Glaucoma causes pressure and fluid to build up in the eye. This can damage the optic nerve. It affects peripheral vision first but can eventually lead to total vision loss. There are effective treatments for glaucoma.
Dry eye is another condition that can cause vision loss. When the eye does not produce enough tears or when the tears evaporate, scars and ulcers can form on the cornea. This can lead to pain and loss of vision. There are many available treatments for dry eye.
Simple Changes that Seniors Can Make
The most important course of action that seniors can take to help preserve their vision is visiting their ophthalmologist regularly. Seniors need to have dilated eye exams at least once a year. This can reveal eye problems that may have developed over the course of the year.
Making sure that general health problems are monitored and treated is one of the keys to preserving vision. Diabetes in particular has serious systemic effects throughout the entire body, including the eyes.
Quitting smoking is another important lifestyle change that seniors can make to help preserve their vision. Wet macular degeneration is more common in seniors who smoke.
Seniors should control their weight and eat a healthy diet including fish and other sources of omega-3 fatty acids. They should also eat a variety of fruits and vegetables each day. Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants that can reduce the risk of macular degeneration and other eye problems.
Finally, seniors should always have their eyeglass prescriptions updated at least once per year. This can be difficult for seniors because most Medicare plans do not cover vision care. Seniors should know that their vision could be preserved if they keep in close touch with their ophthalmologists.
How Vision 20 Can Help
Vision 20 is a beneficial supplement that provides nutritional support to seniors. Doctors recommend that seniors consume many different vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional ingredients in order to keep their eyes in optimal shape. However, it can be challenging to manage diet in order to meet all of these stringent guidelines.
A supplement like Vision 20 is meant to support eye health by providing all the nutrients that eyes need to remain healthy well into old age. Vision 20 provides many ingredients that can improve the health of seniors’ eyes.
Lutein is one of the most important ingredients of Vision 20, and it can support eye health in a variety of ways. Zeaxanthin reduces the damage that oxidation can pose to the lens. Zinc makes other nutrients easier to absorb and supports vision health in other ways.
Beta-carotene or vitamin A is known to protect eyes against bright lights. It also slows the death of cells in the eye. Lycopene supports better vision, as does retinyl palmitate, another form of vitamin A.
Taurine is a necessary amino acid that can be found in meats, seafood, and Vision 20. This amino acid is able to protect eyes from the effects of light damage.
In addition to vitamins and antioxidants, Vision 20 contains several plant extracts. Rose hips are the berry of the rose plant. They have high levels of antioxidants. Grapeseed extract supports the health of the vascular system and supports the lens. Bilberry extract helps to protect against DNA damage.
Protecting Seniors’ Vision
These methods can help seniors preserve their vision well into old age. Vision difficulties do not have to disable seniors, and they can experience more independence when they retain their eye health. Dr. Ryan Shelton Zenith Labs Medical Research Director understands the importance of seniors’ eye health. He recommends that seniors see their eye health professionals regularly and keep all of their chronic conditions, including diabetes, under control as well as possible.