Seniors are most at-risk for vision issues, like cataracts, and this condition can contribute to an increased fall risk and subsequent complications. Impaired vision can create problematic scenarios that compromise the individual’s independence and autonomy. Those with current mobility challenges need their vision- so bi-annual eye exams are strongly encouraged.
Seniors and those with medical conditions or complications are more at-risk for Cataracts, which can rob you of your vision. Cataracts, though very common, often goes untreated until a fall or subsequent issue brings it to light. In fact, cataracts and the clouded vision that come along with it can increase the risk of falls among seniors or those with mobility issues. While mobility aids and devices certainly help, regular eye exams twice a year are also prudent for older individuals.
Fortunately, there is good news. Even though there is no cure for cataracts, it is easily treated and resolved with surgery. Researchers found that among those that need cataract surgery in both eyes, surgery on one eye decreased their risk of falls by around 78%. In other words, if you want to age gracefully and preserve your autonomy, it pays to have your eyes examined and evaluated for signs of Cataracts as regularly as you can muster.
Signs of a Problem
Since we now know that poor vision can significantly impact mobility and overall wellbeing, what are the signs of a problem? You should see your eye doctor for an assessment and checkup if you notice the following symptoms of an issue, including Cataracts:
- Blurred, dim, or cloudy vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Difficult with night vision
- Halos around bright lights
- Clouded, blurred or dim vision
- Double vision
- Yellow tinge
- Fluctuating eyeglass prescription
Know that these symptoms are not necessarily exclusive to Cataracts; some are also common with glaucoma, diabetes, or retinopathy patients. The best way to rule out other vision issues is with regular, routine visits to a trusted eye care provider in your service area.
Save Your Vision Month
Save Your Vision Month in March provides the opportunity to learn more about preserving your precious eyesight. Some of the points that this observance attempts to reinforce include the following benchmarks of eye health- which directly impact mobility and physical health, too:
Omega-3s are key in a diet that promotes and protects your eyes. Fish and nuts are good sources that can help prevent glaucoma, cataracts, and age-related degenerative disease.
Not sure if your diet is rich in vitamins for good eye health? Consider taking a supplement. Some eye vitamins are reported to actually improve your vision and help keep age-related vision issues at bay.
Computers and Screens
How much time do you spend in front of a screen? Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is a real thing that is becoming more common amid this technological culture that we live in. Some signs of CVS include blurred vision, difficulty focusing, and headaches. It can lead to permanent vision loss or impairment over time.
Perhaps the simplest thing that you can do to preserve your vision is to wear protection regularly. That is, wear sunglasses when outside- regardless of if it is sunny and bright. Also, wear goggles or glasses when working with tools or with certain materials. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reports that nearly 2,000 eye injuries occur each day, with construction workers ranking highest at-risk. Take care to prevent foreign matter, like sawdust, dirt, or debris, from getting in your eyes to prevent painful scratches on your corneas.
It is amazing what some people will stick in and near their eyes; old or damaged cosmetics, for example, can cause Pink eye, corneal damage, and even blindness in some extreme circumstances. First, never apply makeup around your eyes in a moving car; you risk serious eye trauma. Second, keep your eye pencils sharp and applicable, keep brushes clean and sanitized. Always wash your hands before applying makeup or cosmetics near the eyes and replace old products routinely to avoid bacteria and potential infection. Nobody wants to endure the painful repercussions of a nasty eye infection brought on by old cosmetics; discard products that you have had for six months or longer, and buy new.
Lifestyle and Habits
Want to make a lifestyle habit that can improve your vision? Quit smoking. Smoking contributes to glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and nerve damage in the eyes. The best prevention for a wide range of eye issues is to never start smoking.
As you can see, there is a correlation between vision and mobility. Take care of both by seeing your eye care provider regularly and through speaking with a mobility specialist at Pacific Mobility to learn more about how quality mobility aids and equipment can change your life for the better. Call or visit today.
President, Husband, Father, Grandfather Graduate of UC Davis- Bio Sci Major- Go Aggies! Jeff has extensive experience in all of Pacific Mobility’s products and services, and specializes in accessibility products as well as stairlifts, ceiling lifts and custom wheel chairs. His hobbies include spending time with family, gardening, mountain biking, exercising and off road motorcycle riding.
24 years as Owner/President of Pacific Mobility Center – selling, installing, and servicing stairlifts, porch lifts, ceiling lifts, pool lifts, handicap ramping, specialty wheelchairs, scooters, power wheel chairs, and other power mobility devices
Certified Environmental Access Consultant since 2008
Licensed General Contractor since 1998
Certified Aging in Place Specialist since 2016
Board Member for Home Access Professionals
Member of Association of Members of the Accessibility Equipment Industry (AEMA)