Eye Health Tips for the over 60's

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Published: 4 Feb 2013

Because our eyesight changes as we get older, almost all of us will need to wear glasses or contact lenses by the time we’re 65.

If you have regular eye tests, wear the right lenses and look after your eyes, there’s a better chance your sight will remain clear.

Have regular eye tests

An eye test is not just good for checking whether your glasses are up to date. It’s also a vital check on the health of your eyes. An eye test can pick up eye diseases, such as glaucoma and cataracts, as well as general health problems, including diabetes and high blood pressure.

The good news is that if you’re 60 or over, you can have a free NHS eye test every two years. You can have a free test every year if you’re 70 or over.

However, a 2011 survey from Age UK showed that nearly 2 million people over 60 did not take advantage of free eye tests in the previous two years.

Helena Herklots, services director at Age UK, said: "It’s worrying that such a high number of older people have not had a sight test recently. Going for regular sight tests and wearing the right glasses will not only improve balance, co-ordination and mobility but will help to maintain general eye health."

If you can’t leave your home because of illness or disability, you can have an NHS eye test at home. Contact your usual optician to find out if they can visit you at home. Otherwise, your local primary care trust (PCT) will have a list of opticians in your area that do home visits.