Eye Health for Over 60s: The Ultimate Care Guide

Each decade that we live through brings change. With age comes wisdom, a sense of self, a confidence in who we are and what we want. We find new joys in life, such as becoming a grandparent or having more free time to explore or enjoy hobbies. On the other hand, we may worry about retirement, being financially secure for our future, and our health. As we enter our 60s, we’re presented with new challenges to stay healthy and at our best physically, mentally, and emotionally. We often must change the way we eat, exercise, and socialize to accommodate how our bodies change as we age. As we all know, age increases our risk of developing many diseases and health issues.

One major issue that cannot be ignored as we get older is our eye health. There are many age-related eye conditions, such as cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, vision loss, dry eye, diabetic retinopathy, presbyopia, melanoma in the eye, and retina tears or detachments. In our younger years we may have gotten away with eye exams every few years or so, because frankly, many eye conditions do not typically affect younger people. But once we hit our 60s, it’s imperative to have yearly comprehensive eye exams. Not only can eye doctors detect and address any current issues, but they can track eye health over time. This allows early detection and treatment of many conditions, sometimes even before symptoms occur. Let’s briefly discuss some of the common age-related eye conditions.

Age-related Macular Degeneration

AMD is an eye disease that causes vision loss in the center of the field of vision. For people over 60, it’s the leading cause of permanent and severe vision loss and typically gets worse over time. While it doesn’t result in complete blindness, it can greatly affect your ability to complete daily tasks. Risk factors include genetics, smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity; lifestyle changes such as not smoking, monitoring blood pressure, and maintaining a healthy weight can help with prevention. While there’s no cure, treatments including medication and laser therapy can help slow down its progression.


While AMD doesn’t cause complete blindness, glaucoma can. It’s the leading cause of blindness in people over 60. Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve, the nerve that connects the eye to the brain. The damage is due to high eye pressure. Glaucoma is known as the silent thief of sight because it often has no symptoms in its early stages. Regular eye exams can help find it before vision loss and while there’s no cure, medicine and surgery can help stop further damage.


A cataract is when the lens becomes cloudy. When this happens, it can affect your vision. Aging is the most common cause of cataracts; they are extremely common as we age because of normal eye changes that begin to happen after age 40. It’s estimated that over 90% of people over age 65 have or have had a cataract. Luckily, cataracts are highly treatable with surgery, which can remove the clouded lens and replace it with an artificial lens implant. This data graphic from ComparetheMarket shows us the eyesight data across several countries, with the United States and Australia being almost on par with the number of cataract surgeries having been performed.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetes damages the blood vessels that maintain the retina and can cause several eye issues, including diabetic retinopathy. While it may not have many warning signs, as the condition progresses, people will notice certain indicators such as blurred vision, loss of peripheral vision, dark spots in vision, difficulty seeing well at night, impaired color vision or seeing spots or floaters. Luckily, diabetic retinopathy is one of the most preventable causes of visual impairment. A yearly eye exam can diagnose diabetes and keep the disease manageable.

Tips to Keep Your Eye Health at Its Best

Although you may not be able to prevent eye conditions from developing as you age, there are things you can do to help decrease the chance of developing certain conditions and keep any issues from becoming unmanageable. Because systemic conditions like hypertension and diabetes can directly affect your eye health, your goal should be to adopt an overall healthy lifestyle as you age. Follow the basics: eat a well-balanced diet, exercise, quit smoking, get a good night sleep, and make sure you have the right health insurance.

There are also things you can do that are more specific to eye health. Because UV light can damage your eyes, wear sunglasses that protect against UV-A and UV-B wavelength. Be sure to always have proper light while reading as to not strain your eyes. And of course, be sure to keep up with your yearly eye exams.


We cannot stop aging and let’s be honest, it’s better than the alternative! By taking care of our eyes and prioritizing our eye health, we can live healthier and happier lives. Routine eye exams can help detect and treat most age-related eye conditions and diseases, so be sure to keep up with those appointments.


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