Growing old and losing your vision go hand in hand — or do they? Growing old is in inevitable, but vision loss is preventable and in most cases, even reversible.
Preventing Vision Loss
Safety glasses and other equipment have prevented instances of work-related eye injuries, with numbers down to 7 out of every 1,000. However, only a minimal percentage of vision loss is caused by accidents. Most cases are due to aging, particularly refraction errors, cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). While refraction errors and cataracts can be treated, there is currently no viable treatment of AMD. Smoking is known to increase your chances of developing AMD by as much as 500 percent. High concentrations of fat also heighten your risk of AMD as well as diabetes, which can further cause complications in your vision. Sunlight and ultraviolet (UV) damage is also known to cause damage to the eyes, and the sun is almost unavoidable in Australia. Prevent AMD by quitting smoking, wearing UV protective shades, watching your weight, and getting a bit of exercise.
Removing cataracts and fixing refraction errors are some of the safest and most successful clinical procedures. Cataracts are the clouding of your eye’s lens, usually occurring as you age. Cataract surgery involves removing your eye’s clouded lens and replacing it with an artificial one. The procedure is safe and won’t require any confinement. Corrective eye surgery with regards to refraction errors is also safe (much safer than a cataract surgery), and the success rate is very high. Refraction errors are usually corrected with the use of specialized lasers or LASIK surgery. LASIK is painless, and a procedure only takes around 15 minutes. The procedure can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, with 96 percent of those who undergo LASIK procedures achieving 20/20 vision. LASIK is a permanent solution that can help you eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses.
Vision and Ageing
Vision loss will affect your quality of life, independence, and mobility. It limits how you interact and enjoy the world and increases your chances of getting into accidents. Falls and similar disasters can lead to severe injuries, especially among those above 65 years of age. The loss of vision is also associated with depression and other negative emotions. The loss of vision also decreases your involvement in mentally stimulating activities, which can hasten the onset of Alzheimer’s. Vision loss is often associated with aging or the misconception that it is unavoidable and should just be accepted. This sense of inevitability is dissuading older individuals from seeking treatment, not knowing that their vision loss is not a thing set in stone. Simple procedures can restore vision to 90 percent of Australians that have lost their sight if only they choose to undergo them.
In the end, remember that there is no need to suffer from vision loss. You can go through life with 20/20 vision as long as you take steps to prevent AMD and undergo the necessary procedures to maintain your eyesight.