By Cozette Eldridge

White Pine Co. Field Representative

Most people enter adulthood with healthy eyes and naturally good vision. We have 20/20 vision or only need over the counter corrective lenses for myopia (nearsightedness).

Around age 40 the situation begins to change and many will develop presbyopia (farsightedness). It tends to develop in mid-life, and results in the lens and muscles in each eye becoming stiffer. When pliability is lower, the lens is less able to refocus from distance to near vision. Becoming farsighted is rarely a cause for medical concern and can be corrected with bifocals.

Glaucoma is another matter. It could be caused by too much production of fluid by the eye, or by trouble draining the flude. The pressure can lead to blindness by damaging the optic nerve. A person may notice a reduction of the peripheral vision. It happens very gradually and may be undiagnosed until central vision is compromised too.

Glaucoma can be managed or treated with eyedrops, oral medications, surgery and lifestyle changes. Diets designed to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease may help prevent glaucoma too, as both conditions might benefit from a decrease in beta-amyloid production. We should all be tested annually for glaucoma and people with diabetes, at a higher risk, should get eye check-ups more frequently. The glaucoma test consists of a puff of air to each eye, which allows the doctor to see the pressure level.

Cataracts are another problem that can develop as we get older. Cataracts are clouded lenses, made of broken-down lens tissue. The risk for cataracts increases with the exposure of the eyes to sunlight. The risk is higher with people with people with light colored eyes. We should protect our eyes with sunglasses that are made to screen out ultraviolet rays.  Wear wide brimmed hats and apply sunsceen around our eyes when we’re going to be in the sun.

Radiation has indoor sources too, such as computer screens. Exposure to LED lights and digital devices may contribute to retinal degeneration, so using screen filters can help prevent vision loss and support normal healthy aging of the eyes.

SENIOR CENTER LUNCH MENU

MAY 6 – MAY 10

MON.: Scrambled Eggs, Green Pepper/Onion, Roasted Potatoes, Biscuit & Gravy, Fruit.

TUES.: Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes with Gravy, Steamed Spinach, Bread, Fruit Cup.

WED.: Chicken Parmesan with Noodles, Vegetables, Orange Spinach Salad, Bread Stick, Fruit.

THU.: White Bean Soup/Tomatoes, Egg Salad Sandwich, Lettuce/Tomato, Fruit.

FRI.: Salmon, Rice/Mushrooms, Garden Salad, Peas, Fruit, Dessert.