Eye health tips for over-60s

Because our eyesight changes as we get older, almost all of us will need to wear glasses or contact lenses by the time we’re 65. If you have regular eye tests, wear the right lenses and look after your eyes, there’s a better chance your sight will remain clear.

ave regular eye tests !hat"s free on the # $%
&ind out if you"re entitled to free # $ eye tests or optical vouchers and how to claim for help.

An eye test is not just good for checking whether your glasses are up to date. It’s also a vital check on the health of your eyes. An eye test can pick up eye diseases, such as glaucoma and cataracts, as well as general health problems, including diabetes and high blood pressure. The good news is that if you’re 6 or over, you can have a free !"# eye test every two years. $ou can have a free test every year if you’re % or over. "owever, a & '' survey from Age () showed that nearly & million people over 6 did not take advantage of free eye tests in the previous two years. "elena "erklots, services director at Age (), said* +It’s worrying that such a high number of older people have not had a sight test recently. ,oing for regular sight tests and wearing the right glasses will not only improve balance, co-ordination and mobility but will help to maintain general eye health.+ If you can’t leave your home because of illness or disability, you can have an !"# eye test at home. .ontact your usual optician to find out if they can visit you at home. /therwise, !"# 0ngland will have a list of opticians in your area that do home visits. .ontact !"# 0ngland on 1 emailengland.contactus2nhs.net 345. 6ind out more about eye tests. 1'' && 1 or

!ear the right lenses
An eye test will establish whether you need a different prescription for your glasses or contact lenses. It’s important to wear the correct prescription lenses. This will improve your 7uality of life and reduce the risk of accidents such as falls. According to Age ()8s research, poor vision was a factor in &% , 6 in the previous two years. $ou may be entitled to help with the cost of !"# glasses or contact lenses, so ask your optician about this. 6ind a local optician. falls in people over the age of

This is related to an increase in pressure in the eye that leads to damage of the optic nerve. If they persist. . Eye problems as you get older As you get older.ataracts.<. >ear sunglasses or contact lenses with a built-in (? filter to protect your eyes from harmful rays. which can lead to sight loss. As you sleep. #trong sunlight can damage your eyes and may increase your risk of cataracts. -laucoma. balanced diet. that may have accumulated during the day are cleared out. blindness. • . A simple operation can restore sight. such as dust or smoke. if it8s detected early enough. balanced diet is important for your eyes. see below=. This is a disease of the retina caused by ageing. 0ating plenty of vegetables and fruit will benefit your overall health and may help protect against some conditions such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration :A. use a direct light from a fleAible table lamp. your eyes are continuously lubricated and irritants. these complications can usually be avoided with eye drops. this gradual clouding of the eye8s lens is eAtremely common in over-6 s. ultimately. you8ll probably need separate reading glasses or an addition to your prescription lenses :bifocals or varifocals=. 6or reading or close work. ow to 'eep your eyes healthy As well as having regular eye tests and wearing the correct glasses.ood circulation and oAygen intake are important for our eye health. • • E*ercise. $tay a healthy weight. )se good lighting. • • • &loaters. #moking can increase your chances of developing conditions such as cataracts and A. see an optician as they may be a sign of an underlying health condition. Increase the daylight in your home by keeping windows clean and curtains pulled back. These tiny specks or spots that float across your vision are normally harmless. positioned so the light is not reflected by the page and causing glare. @eing overweight increases your risk of diabetes. @oth of these are stimulated by regular eAercise. .<. • • • (uit smo'ing. 9ead more aboutprotecting your eyes from the sun. $leep well. especially at the top and bottom of stairs so you can see the steps clearly. glaucoma leads to tunnel vision and. which connects the eye to the brain. 0ating a healthy.ake sure you have good electric lighting too. 6ind out how the !"# can help you stop smoking. you become more likely to get certain eye problems* • +ifficulty reading. 9ead tips on how to have a healthy. your eyes need three times as much light when you8re 6 as they did when you were & . There are two types of macular degeneration. "owever. you can do several things to keep your eyes as healthy as possible* • Eat well. @y the time you8re 6 . 0asily detected in an eye test.acular degeneration. .9ead more about entitlement to free !"# eye tests or optical vouchers. • !ear sunglasses. "ere are' tips to beat insomnia. Beft untreated. . To see well. It8s a natural ageing process of the eye that happens to us all. The . The retina is the nerve tissue lining the back of your eye. 9ead more about how much eAercise you should do.heck if you8re a healthy weight. 0ye muscles start to weaken from the age of 45.

.first type. This needs to be seen as an emergency in a hospital eye unit for prompt treatment. gets worse very slowly. The other type gets worse very 7uickly. called dry macular degeneration.

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