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Senior Eye Health It’s almost impossible to overstate the importance of eyesight in our daily lives. It allows us to see our loved ones, our work, and life around us. Taking care of our eyes is essential and something that will serve us well to the end of our days. Here are four important steps to maintaining good eye health. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, (AAO) the most important things to maintain eye health are: 1. Avoiding falls and eye injuries 2. Caring for health conditions and chronic disease 3. Exercise 4. Sleep 1. Avoid falls and eye injuries: Falls become increasingly hazardous as we age. Frail bones and a lack of balance means that falls can lead to serious injury, including to the eyes. To help prevent your loved one from falling, make sure that fall hazards are removed from the house, lighting is sufficient and bright, secure grab bars are installed in the bathroom and non-slip footwear is always worn. 2. Take care of health issues and chronic disease: Health conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes can affect eye health. Vision may change if blood pressure spikes or diabetes is left untreated. It’s important that your loved one have regular physical exams. Early detection of hypertension and/or diabetes can prevent long-term, permanent vision impairment. 3. Exercise: Exercise is not only good for a senior’s bones, lungs and heart, but it’s also beneficial for the eyes. According to the AAO, “Our eyes need good blood circulation and oxygen intake, and both are stimulated by regular exercise. Regular exercise also helps keep our weight in the normal range, which reduces the risk of diabetic retinopathy.” Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease and occurs when blood vessels in the retina change. Any exercise is good–whether it’s walking, gardening, yoga, or stretching. The important thing is to move and inhale deeply to increase oxygen intake. Make sure that sunglasses are worn to protect the eyes when exercising outdoors. 4. Sleep: When we sleep our bodies and brains rejuvenate and so do our eyes. That is when they clean themselves from allergens and dust and lubricate themselves. Scientists also believe that light-sensitive cells in the eye help to regulate our wake-sleep cycles, so they need exposure to dark and natural light to maintain our inner clocks. Home Care Assistance can help your loved one to take care of their eyes with transportation to optometrist and ophthalmologist appointments, good nutrition and exercise. Our trained caregivers can provide hourly, daily and respite care and activities that support healthy daily living. We are a resource for information about caregiving and home care. In fact, Home Care Assistance is the only senior care company with an award-winning book series designed to educate families and senior care professionals on topics related to healthy aging. Copies of the books are available for purchase on Amazon.com and you can read a comprehensive snapshot of the topics the series covers here.
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