Normal Age-Related Vision Changes-2

Age-Related Eye Change #2

The lens of the eye begins to lose elasticity.
Impact: In the same way that losing flexibility in tendons and muscles makes it more difficult for the body to move, losing lens elasticity also makes it harder for the lens to bend in order to focus on closely held objects. This loss of focusing power, or lens accommodation, is known as presbyopia.

Compensation: Investing in certain sight aids can help compensate for losses in up-close vision. Try these sight aids if you’re having trouble seeing close up:
See your eye specialist regarding corrective devices such as reading glasses, bifocals, trifocals, progressive lenses (no lines), or possibly contact lenses to help you correctly see objects at close proximity.
Have your eyes rechecked and reading lenses adjusted every 2 or 3 years; changes in lens elasticity typically occur progressively between the ages of 45 and 65.

Shine additional light on close work materials to enhance your near vision; lights with adjustable necks are best for directly targeting work.
Consider simple, over-the-counter reading glasses for up-close work if you do not need corrective lenses to see distances. The typical range of magnification needed is from +1.00 to + 3.00. Choose a weaker glass for computer work or a stronger glass for reading.
Researchers are studying new surgical interventions and devices that could restore at least some amount of near vision. However, these techniques are experimental, and given the tendency of the eye structure to constantly change, the long-term success of such interventions is unknown.

Age-Related Eye Change #3

The lens of the eye gradually yellows with age.

Impact: The yellowing of the eye lens affects color perception. For example, the yellowing lens tends to absorb and scatter blue light, making it difficult to see differences in shades of blue, green, and violet. Colors may seem duller, and contrasts between colors will be less noticeable. This may cause confusion when picking out clothes or performing other tasks that require color perception. It also may become difficult to tell where an object ends and its background begins, making it difficult to see curbs or steps, for example.

Compensation: A few specific adjustments to lighting and color choices should help alleviate the effects of minor lens yellowing. Try this:
Choose halogen or fluorescent bulbs specifically designed to improve color rendering. Bulbs with a color-rendering index (CRI) above 80 may best help older eyes with color definition.
Use warm contrasting colors, such as yellow, orange, and red, in your home to improve your ability to tell where things are and make it easier to perform daily activities.
Put colored tape on the edge of steps to help make them easier to navigate.
Eventually, the underlying process that causes lens yellowing may lead to cataracts. Surgical procedures are available for people whose degree of vision impairment due to cataracts is severe enough to interfere with safety or quality of life.

Give Your Eyes a Boost

Creating an eye-friendly environment is only the beginning of boosting your vision. Studies show that certain lifestyle habits and dietary choices may help protect the lens of the eye and reduce the risk of certain lens conditions that diminish sight.
For example, a study published in the American Journal of Nutrition reveals that a diet rich in vitamin C and foods containing plant pigments, or carotenoids, may help protect the lens of the eye and reduce the risk of cataracts. A lack of these nutrients appears to speed cross-linking, a process in which proteins in the lens form unwanted links or bonds, making the lens thicker, more rigid, scattering even more light than it would otherwise.
Carotenoids exhibit antioxidant properties. Examples include beta carotene, lycopene, and lutein. There is no recommended daily allowance for carotenoids, but you can get your fill by eating lots of produce. Carotenoid-rich foods include sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, spinach, tomatoes, kale, and mangoes. Aim for four servings of fruit and five servings of vegetables per day to help ensure you get the nutrients you need to maximize your eye health.
In addition to certain nutritional deficits, other lifestyle choices may speed up cross-linking and put lens health at risk. These include smoking and excessive exposure to UV rays from the sun.

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