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Lions Clubs International Foundation and Women ’ s Eye Eye Health for Seniors: Your Aging Eyes and Clear Vision for Life. Attention Seniors:. By age 65, one in three Americans have some vision-impairing eye disease Most don’t know it—often there are no early warning signs

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Lions clubs international foundation and women s eye health org

Lions Clubs International FoundationandWomen’s Eye

Eye Health for Seniors:

Your Aging Eyes and

Clear Vision for Life

Attention seniors
Attention Seniors:

  • By age 65, one in three Americans have some vision-impairing eye disease

  • Most don’t know it—often there are no

    early warning signs

  • Poor sight is not a natural part of aging

  • You can take measures to preserve your sight

  • Have eye disease detected and treated early

  • Visit an eye doctor at least every 1-2 years

Did you know that
Did you know that:

  • Three-fourths (75%) of all blindness and vision impairment is either preventable or treatable

  • The same good health habits that protect your heart and lungs also help your eyes

  • It is never too late to take care of your eyes

Importance of Good Vision for Seniors

  • Independence: working, driving and cooking

  • Quality of life: reading, watching TV and

    seeing grandchildren

  • Mental health: less isolation and


  • Physical health: fewer falls, which

    could lead to bone fractures

Age related eye conditions more common in seniors
Age-related Eye Conditions More Common in Seniors:

  • Presbyopia

  • Dimming of vision

  • Cataract(s)

  • Dry eye

  • Glaucoma

  • AMD (age-related macular degeneration)

Aging what most seniors can expect
Aging: What most seniors can expect


  • Diminished ability to focus on near objects

  • Happens to nearly everyone

  • Often first noticed between ages 40-50

  • Typically results in the need for reading glasses or bifocals

Presbyopia what to do
Presbyopia: What to do

  • Make sure your eyeglasses are correct for both distance and reading

  • Visit an eye-care professional at least every two years

  • For convenience, buy several pairs of inexpensive reading glasses

Aging dimmer vision
Aging: Dimmer vision

Caused by:

  • Slight loss of retinal function

  • Beginning cataract(s)

Dimmer vision what to do
Dimmer Vision: What to do

  • Use brighter lighting for reading

  • For safety, make sure your home is

    well lit

  • See your eye doctor if there is a sudden loss of vision


  • Caused by eye’s lens becoming opaque

  • Nearly everyone will have them by age 90

  • Smoking increases incidence of some types

  • Symptoms include:

    1. Dark, fuzzy vision even with glasses

    2. Glare

    3. Halos around bright lights (dangerous for


Cataract what to do
Cataract: What to do

  • When your eye doctor thinks your cataract(s) are “ripe” have them removed surgically

  • This is a very common, simple and successful procedure

  • Surgery involves implanting an artificial lens (No more “coke-bottle” glasses)

Dry eye
Dry Eye

  • Very prevalent in people over 55

  • Two-to-three times more common in women

  • Caused by insufficient tears or by eyelid inflammation

  • Persistently painful, stinging or itchy eyes

  • Causes much suffering

  • Sometimes leads to serious infection

Dry eye what to do
Dry Eye: What to do

  • Artificial tears are mainstay of treatment

  • Try different eye drops to find best for you

  • Eye ointment at bedtime may help

  • Avoid wind, smoke and very dry rooms

  • See an eye doctor if the condition persists

Potentially blinding diseases
Potentially Blinding Diseases

Very serious—requires medical care:

  • AMD

  • Glaucoma

  • Diabetic retinopathy

Age related macular degeneration amd
Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

  • Leading cause of blindness and irreversible vision loss in seniors

  • Gradually destroys central retina (macula) needed for sharp vision

  • Three times more common in smokers

  • Late stage has two forms: “dry” and “wet”

  • Wet form caused by leaky blood vessels behind retina

Amd symptoms
AMD Symptoms

  • Experience no pain

  • Blurred central vision, even with glasses

  • Later symptom includes dark or empty area in center of vision

  • In “wet” form, straight lines appear curved

Amd what to do
AMD: What to do

  • Don’t smoke

  • To monitor deposits behind retina, get a comprehensive eye exam, with dilated pupils, at least every 2 years

  • New treatment for wet form can stop and sometimes reverse disease

  • This involves injections into eye to stop growth of new vessels


  • Called “silent thief of sight” (no symptoms until permanent damage done)

  • Gradually destroys optic nerve

  • Peripheral (side) vision lost first

  • Essential for seniors to have comprehensive eye exam at least every 1-2 years

Glaucoma what to do
Glaucoma: What to do

  • Get periodic eye exam, with dilated pupils (drops) at least every 1-2 years

  • This detects glaucoma before any damage sets in

  • Prescription eye drops usually halt disease

  • May require trial of different types of drops

  • If necessary, a simple surgery can increase fluid flow out of eye

Diabetic retinopathy
Diabetic Retinopathy

  • Serious complication of diabetes

  • Technically not age-related

  • Increases with duration of diabetes, hence, with age

  • Leaky blood vessels inside retina

  • Distorted and lost vision near leaks

Diabetic retinopathy what to do
Diabetic Retinopathy: What to do

  • Best to prevent diabetes in the first place

  • Diabetes is related to obesity, so maintain a healthy weight

  • If you have diabetes, be under the care of an eye doctor (visit at least once a year)

  • If retinal hemorrhage occurs, get laser treatment quickly—this usually saves sight

Low vision aids
Low-vision Aids

  • If you have lost considerable vision from eye disease, don’t lose hope

  • “Low vision” is 20/200 (with glasses) or worse, but it is not blindness

  • Go to an optometrist who specializes in low-vision aids

  • Low-vision aids can help you resume normal activities

Types of low vision aids
Types of Low-vision Aids

Can be as simple as:

  • Magnifying glass

  • Large-print books and clocks

  • Electronic magnifiers for books and TV

  • Special eyeglasses to allow driving

Why should i see an eye doctor
Why should I see an eye doctor?

  • Diagnose glaucoma before there is irreversible vision loss

  • Make sure eyeglasses are correct

  • Treat cataracts, AMD and diabetic retinopathy in a timely manner

When should i see an ophthalmologist or optometrist
When should I see an ophthalmologist oroptometrist?

  • All seniors, at least every 1- 2 years

  • More often if you have:

    • An eye disease

    • Family history of serious eye disease

    • Diabetes

    • An autoimmune disease (like Sjögren’s or MS) that can affect the eye

    • A sudden change in vision

What you can do to keep clear vision for life
What you can do to keep clear vision for life

  • Make sure your home is well lit

  • Keep your eyeglasses up-to-date

  • See an eye doctor regularly

  • If you smoke, try to stop

  • Maintain a healthy weight

Be eye smart
Be eye smart!

It’s largely up to you

to maintain your eye health – be proactive!

To learn more visit
To learn more, visit:






Presented by:Lions Clubs International Foundationworking in partnership withWomen’s Eye Health.orgto prevent blindness

Funded through a Lions Clubs International Foundation SightFirst grant.

For more information please visit and