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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