In addition to a few laugh lines and fine wrinkles, one of the early signs of aging noticed by many 40-somethings is a change in their vision. Even for those who have worn glasses or contacts for much of their life, age-related vision changes can crop up suddenly and have a major impact on quality of life.

Make an appointment with an eye doctor

If you have noticed a change in your vision–maybe it’s squinting to read the paper or having to hold books farther and farther away–the first thing you should do is make an appointment with either an optometrist or an ophthalmologist.

An optometrist has a college degree plus an additional four years of specialty study and can perform basic eye exams and prescribe the proper glasses or contacts for your needs. If you have a more complex eye issue, however, you may want to consider an appointment with an ophthalmologist.

Ophthalmologists are physicians who went to medical school and then did an additional internship and residency specializing in eye health. They can give eye exams, but they can also diagnose and treat more serious eye-related conditions and diseases. Learn more about the differences between an optometrist and an ophthalmologist >>

Lighting improvements can improve senior quality of life

A recent article by Steve Brielmaier, president of online retailer LampsUSA, sheds additional light on the changes that occur in our eyes as we age. From color distortion to difficulty adjusting focus, our eyes feel the impact of the natural aging process, just like the rest of the body.

Steve explains how the proper lighting can increase your ability to see clearly and improve your senior quality of life. His article includes a handy interactive checklist to help you determine if your home or office’s lighting is amenable to your aging eyes. He also offers 25 tips and suggestions that seniors should consider when making lighting selections at home or at work, including:

1)      Increase the number of ambient light sources, which will brightens your entire room.

2)      Increase the wattage of bulbs up to the maximum amount permitted by the fixture.

3)      Add table or floor lamps to your space.

4)      Open curtains and blinds to allow natural sunlight in.

5)      Paint walls a lighter shade using glare-reducing matte paint.

Updating your “look”

A new prescription for your glasses and some simple changes to your environment’s lighting can quickly make a big difference in your ability to see as you age, making you safer and improving your overall quality of life!

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