Almost everyone will experience natural changes in their visual acuity as they age. As you enter your 60s, you may notice that you:

  • Need more light to see
  • Have difficulty differentiating between some colours, in particular shades of blue and green
  • Experience problems focusing on things that are near you
  • Encounter trouble adjusting to glare

Such changes are part of the natural process of ageing and, the good news is that you can continue to live quality and independent lives by:

1. Practising good personal hygiene

  • Use a clean towel to wipe your eye lids well after you wash your face to prevent infection
  • Do not use a shared towel or your hands to rub your eyes
  • Do not use eye medication or spectacles that do not belong to you

2. Adopting healthy lifestyle habits

  • Eat a well-balanced diet and stay active to maintain good health and to keep your eyes healthy.
  • Monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Avoid smoking to reduce your risk of getting eye problems
  • Manage your condition carefully if you have diabetes
  • Ensure that you have adequate rest to relax your eyes
  • Have a thorough eye examination at least once in two years
  • Go for more frequent eye check-ups if you have diabetes. Inform your eye doctor if your blurred vision is not corrected by your spectacles and get new spectacles or contact lenses if you need them.

3. Making changes to see better

  • Ensure there is adequate lighting when watching the TV, using the computer or reading.
  • Ensure there is adequate distance between your eyes and the TV; the larger the screen, the further you should be sitting away.
  • Hold the book at about an arm's length away from your eyes when reading while the computer screen should be about 50cm away.
  • Relax your eyes every half an hour while reading or using the computer by looking at some distant objects
  • Make sure your reading material is not printed on shiny paper, and the print is clear and large.
  • Avoid reading in a moving vehicle or in bed.

4. Consulting an eye care professional immediately if you:

  • Have persistent or sharp eye pain
  • Experience over-sensitivity to light, or see a halo or rainbow around lights
  • Encounter loss of vision
  • Have red eyes or experience a burning sensation in your eyes
  • See a sudden appearance of a large number of floaters or black spots
  • Have an abnormal growth in the eye or on the eyelid
  • Experience cloudiness in the transparent part of the eye
  • Have watery eyes with persistent discharge or crust

5. Being alert to Cataracts, Glaucoma and Age-related Macular Degeneration

  • Cataracts, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration are common eye diseases experienced by older adults in their 60s and beyond. In addition, diabetic retinopathy is the most common eye disease affecting people with diabetes and may cause severe vision loss or even blindness.
  • Know more about these conditions, look out for warning signs and consult a doctor if you think that you have any of these conditions. Early detection and treatment can prevent vision loss and slow down the progression of these diseases.

6. Making known your difficulties and needs

  • Talk to people you trust if you have difficulties with your vision
  • Discuss your problems and needs with your family or care giver. They can only be taken care of if people around you understand your difficulties and the conditions that you are suffering from.