beaumont vision pdx eyecare blog
November 7, 2018

Optometrists and Fall Prevention for Seniors: The Hidden Link

The Real Danger of Failing Eyesight in Your Golden Years

senior eye health

A fall can be a very serious and traumatic event for any senior citizen. Many falls lead to broken bones, which either lead to diminished quality of life, earlier termination of life, or both. For these reasons, fall prevention is a very serious business, especially for seniors. But fall prevention efforts usually miss a key piece of the puzzle – the fact that diminished visual acuity and other problems affecting sight in the elderly is a primary contributor.

In this post, we’ll take a look at the hidden link between eye health and senior falls. We’ll also examine the high toll that a fall can take on the life of an elderly person. Finally, we’ll make some suggestions regarding protecting eyesight during the golden years and some suggestions for compensating for diminished vision that may help protect seniors from falling.

Eye Health and Senior Falls

As we age, our eyesight begins to falter, naturally. Aging and many of the conditions that come along with it – some of which affect the eyes, though they have nothing to do with eyesight directly – take a toll on our visual acuity. This can make it harder to see in general, and especially hard to see in low-light conditions.

Additionally, aging can bring with it several eye issues or conditions that can make seeing, even in the best of circumstances, very challenging.

There are many factors that can contribute to a senior fall taking place, but poor or encumbered vision is primary among all of them. The hazard that a senior does not see is far more likely to trip them or cause them to slip or lose balance, resulting in a fall that can have serious, even life-threatening repercussions.

What a Fall Can Mean in the Life of an Elderly Person

Falls are embarrassing and can bring into question the ability of a senior person to care for themselves. They can also result in minor or very serious injury. Depending on the context and the person experiencing the fall, they could result in serious disability and even death. For example, how many times have you heard of someone’s health deteriorating rapidly following a fall and a broken hip?

Broken hips are a very serious and often life-threatening potential outcome of a senior fall. But other potential injuries, including burns, broken bones, concussions, and the like can also factor into a senior’s loss of independence, health, quality of life, or life itself. Therefore it is of utmost importance that seniors be protected against falls to the greatest extent possible.

Protecting Your Eyesight as You Age to Protect Against Falls

Regular visits to your optometrist throughout the course of your life are an excellent step toward safeguarding your health and eyesight. This relationship between regular visits to the eye doctor and continued health becomes even more important as we age.

Safeguarding our eye health and ability to see is very important in and of itself. It becomes even more crucial when you begin to think of all the things that good eyesight protects us from.

October 17, 2018

Understanding How the Human Eye Works

The Human Eye: A Fascinating Aspect of Your Body

how the eye works

The human eye is truly one of the most miraculous creations of human evolution. But how does it work, exactly? How does light hitting your eye allow you to process images so that you can see? Here are the basics.

The human eye works very much like a camera, focusing light through a lens to create clear images. Your eyes are made up of a number of important components, including the cornea, the lens, the iris, the retina, rods, and cones.

Light reflects off an object and enters the cornea, which refracts that light through the lens. The colored iris surrounding the pupil then causes the pupil to contract or dilate to let in the proper amount of light, much like a camera’s aperture.

How All the Parts of Your Eyes Conspire to Create Your Vision

The lens then focuses the light onto the retina, which is where the translation of light into images takes place. This layer of tissue contains millions of nerve cells called rods and cones.

The cones are in the center of the retina and are responsible for central vision, fine details, and colors. Rods are responsible for peripheral vision, are good for detecting motion, and also for helping us to see better in dim light. These nerve cells turn the light into electrical impulses, which then travel op the optic nerve, creating an image in the brain.

Human Eye Facts

Now that you understand how the eye works, here are some fun facts about eyes that you might not know.

  1. Blinking– Blinking is a critical process for keeping the eyes lubricated and clear of debris. The average blink lasts about 1/10th of a second and you blink about 12 times a minute on average.
  2. Resilience– Unlike other parts of your body like your muscles that may need time to “warm up,” your eyes are ready to go at full strength just about as soon as you open them. They also heal surprisingly quickly. A corneal scratch usually heals within about 48 hours.
  3. Size– The average eye is about an inch across and weighs about a quarter of an ounce.
  4. Crying– Humans don’t start crying with actual tears until around 4-13 weeks.
  5. Blind Spot– Each of your eyes has a blind spot where the optic nerve is attached. Your other eye covers it so you don’t notice it.
  6. Impairment– about 39 million people worldwide are blind and around 230 million people are visually impaired in some way. 80 percent of vision problems can be avoided or cured.

How Vision Problems Work

Vision problems can occur for a number of reasons. They can be a result of physical damage to the eye, the can be a result of poor nutrition, or a symptom of another disease like diabetes.

What is certain, however, is that one of the keys to avoiding or slowing the growth of vision impairment is regular vision examinations and preventive care, if necessary. Many eye problems show no symptoms in the initial stages, so it is very important to get your eyes checked regularly to make sure everything is working right.

If you are in the Portland, Oregon, area, Beaumont Vision is here to help. We offer comfortable, professional surroundings for eye examinations by well-trained optometric physicians who will help make sure your eyes are in their best possible shape. To schedule your eye appointment today, call 503-331-3937.

Phone: 503- 331-3937 • Fax: 503-528-1234 • 4331 NE Fremont St, Portland, OR 97213