How To Care For Aging Eyes

Written by Dr. Pramod Mane on Mon, 28 August 2023 — Fact checked by Dr Bright Owusu Prempeh

Key Highlights

  • Aging eyes can remain healthy with the right care and essential precautions.  
  • When one hits their prime, it's crucial to begin having regular eye exams.  
  • Early eye care is important to prevent serious complications in the future.  
  • Getting yearly eye exams, using sunglasses, eating a nutritious diet, and other precautions can all help protect our eyes.  
  • At every stage of life, the eye must be safeguarded since it is a vital organ. 

Aging eyes are susceptible to a range of issues that can impact our overall quality of life. Did you know that poor care causes eyesight loss in approximately 30% of older people? A survey found that approximately more than half of people worldwide wear glasses due to eye conditions such as myopia, hypermetropia, etc. Aging and eye health are likely to go hand in hand for many years, as both tend to deteriorate over time.

Anatomical, physiological, and neurological changes occur as we age. It happens naturally and is occasionally sped up by circumstances that may be avoided, such as economic stress, psychological problems, and illnesses. This aging process also has an impact on the eye, which causes changes to its anatomy, physiology, and nervous system.

Older people are more likely to seek eye care than younger people. Another emerging sign of the necessity to begin eye care at a young age is the increased surgical rate for cataracts (number of treatments carried out per million people). Therefore, eye care should be carefully considered as it is expected to become a component of rising medical demand.

In this blog post, we'll explore essential tips and strategies on how to care for aging eyes.

What are the signs and symptoms of aging eyes?

What are the signs and symptoms of aging eyes

1. Presbyopia

  • Presbyopia is an eye condition where the ability to focus on near objects is lost due to age.
  • It is usually prevalent between 37-40 years and at this age, you may start to notice some difficulties focusing on close things, particularly reading materials.
  • We consciously or instinctively attempt to make up for this issue by moving the print farther away from ourselves.
  • This is a result of the lens becoming hard and losing its ability to relax and contract.

2. Cataract

  • Cataracts are cloudy regions in the lens of the eye that result in foggy or blurry vision. Some cataracts remain tiny and don’t significantly alter your vision.
  • Others enlarge and lose their eyesight. Cataract surgery is a popular and safe procedure that can help restore normal eyesight.
  • A few other major symptoms include slow progressive painless reduced vision, yellowing of vision, glare, etc.
  • To prevent the disease from getting worse, it is crucial to see an eye doctor as soon as you discover any anomalies in your eyesight.

3. Glaucoma

  • The most common cause of glaucoma is excessive fluid pressure inside the eye. It can result in blindness and visual loss if untreated.
  • Often, Glaucoma patients don’t experience any early signs or discomfort.
  • Lasers, surgery, and prescription eye drops are all options for treating Glaucoma. As we age, everyone is susceptible to acquiring Glaucoma.
  • In fact, studies indicate that the chance of developing glaucoma increases from 1% at age 40 to 12% at age 80

4. Dry eyes

  • Our tear glands have a tendency to lose their capacity to generate enough tears to moisten the eye as we age.
  • When they do, they’re not fully functional. Itching, a burning sensation, a feeling of a foreign body, a dislike of dust and smoke, and occasionally excessive crying are among the symptoms of dry eyes and their improper functioning.
  • Women are more likely to experience the changes than males, especially after menopause. There are numerous treatment options which include surgery, tear duct plugs, medications, etc.

5. Decreased color vision

  • The fovea loses certain cells as we age, resulting in critical color information loss.
  • As a result, colors lose some of their brightness and the contrast between them becomes less obvious, making blue look washed out or faded.

Red alert! Immediately visit an eye care professional if you experience the following:

  1. Sudden blackness
  2. Bleeding/ swelling of the eye
  3. Severe redness
  4. Sudden prolonged eye pain
  5. Experience double vision

How to care for aging eyes

How to care for aging eyes

1. Kick the Cig

  • Smoking has been a leading cause of blindness in many countries and the risk tends to remain high for as long as 20 years after quitting.
  • According to research conducted in Australia, smoking may be the cause of up to one in five occurrences of Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD)-related blindness in that nation.
  • Therefore, smoking should be considered a major threat to aging eyes, and its awareness must be of primary importance.

2. A diet in control is life in control

  • The American Academy of Ophthalmology, says diets rich in kale, salmon, oranges, and black-eyed peas, are good for the heart and the eyes.
  • Additionally, eating meals rich in the vitamin beta-carotene can improve night vision. Foods with an orange hue, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupes, and apricots, should be sought out.
  • Everyone should adhere to a healthy diet in order to preserve both a healthy body and a healthy lifestyle.

3. Work it out

  • A large-scale study that included more than 15,000 people found that individuals who exercise regularly and were physically fit experienced less eyesight loss over the period of 20 years than those who didn’t.
  • A simple 10-minute eye workout every day will create a huge impact in the future.

4. Bring your SHADES to life

  • A good way of protecting your eyes from excess sun exposure is to wear sunglasses. The sun’s ultraviolet rays pose a grave risk of cataracts in aging eyes.
  • The likelihood of acquiring cataracts is significantly higher in those with fair complexions and blue eyes. In fact, one of the earliest studies to connect sun exposure with a higher risk of cataracts was in 1998 by Johns Hopkins.
  • The risk of ARMD is also increased by exposure to UV rays. Sunglasses also provide additional protection for the sensitive area around your eyes.

5. Eye checkups

  • There is a hundred percent chance that your eyes may change as you get older. Hence it is crucial to schedule frequent eye checkups with your doctor.
  • As you approach your golden years, become more cautious and alert related to your eye.
  • Your eye doctor will be able to monitor your vision changes over time to maintain your eyes as healthy as possible as you age if you make an effort to visit them once a year

Tips to maintain eye health for all age groups

1. Practice the 20-20-20 rule

  • If you spend extended periods in front of screens, follow the 20-20-20 rule.
  • Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and focus on something at least 20 feet away. This helps reduce eye strain and fatigue.

2. Use proper lighting

  • Ensure adequate lighting when reading, working, or performing tasks that strain your eyes.
  • Avoid harsh glare and position light sources to reduce shadows and reflections.

3. Stay hydrated

  • Adequate hydration is essential for overall health, including eye health.
  • Proper hydration helps maintain the moisture levels in your eyes and reduces the risk of dry eye syndrome.

4. Consider eye supplements

  • Consult your eye care professional before taking any supplements, but certain supplements like omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, and zeaxanthin have shown potential in supporting eye health.

5. Practice good hygiene

  • Wash your hands before touching your eyes to prevent infections.
  • If you use contact lenses, follow proper hygiene practices to avoid eye irritation and infections.


In conclusion, care for aging eyes requires a holistic approach that encompasses lifestyle choices, proper nutrition, regular check-ups, and protective measures.

Elderly people should be warned and made aware of smoking, excessive drinking, and diets high in cholesterol which are major factors contributing to the degradation of aging eyes. They should always have routine eye exams.

Indeed, annual eye exams are widely advised for older people, especially in cases where visual problems like glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, diabetes, etc. run in the family. It is likely asserted that prevention is preferable to treatment.

By following these tips and strategies, you can significantly enhance your chances of maintaining clear and healthy vision as you age.


Dr. Pramod Mane

A Doctor of Medicine (MD) in Pharmacology., currently based in Mumbai, India, Dr Pramod Mane, comes with an experience of more than 20 years of working in Medical Affairs in the Pharmaceuticals & Nutraceutical Industry. Director of Medical Services at Mega Lifesciences since 2008, Dr Mane has been associated with several MNCS in the areas of Medical Affairs, Medical Services, Medico-marketing, Pharmacovigilance & Clinical trials in his illustrious career.

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Our team of experts frequently monitors developments in the health and wellness field, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.

Current Version

Aug, 28 2023

Written By

Dr. Pramod Mane

Fact checked By

Dr Bright Owusu Prempeh