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Check Your Eyesight

Vision naturally begins to change and deteriorate with age. Many of these changes are very gradual, so it is easy for them to go unnoticed.

Your vision helps you maintain your balance and identify and navigate hazards and obstacles in your environment, which is important for preventing falls.

Older adults with vision impairment are twice as likely to fall than older adults without vision loss.

It is important that you get your eyes tested every two years and speak to your GP or Optometrist if you notice any changes in your eyesight. Changes to your eyesight may include clouded vision, sensitivity to light, difficulty with vision at night, and dry or watery eyes.

The main eye conditions associated with ageing include Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Retinopathy, Glaucoma, and Cataracts.

Common signs that your vision may be deteriorating

  • Constant frowning or squinting
  • Frequent blinking
  • Head tilting or turning
  • Rubbing the eyes
  • Holding reading material close to the face
  • Poor eye-hand coordination
  • Falls or bumping into items
  • Missing the cup when pouring drinks

Tips for maintaining and improving your vision

  • Get your eyes tested every two years and speak to your GP or Optometrist if you notice any changes in your eyesight
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid smoking
  • Make sure there is good lighting when reading
  • Wear sunglasses when outside
  • Be aware of small changes to your vision
  • Wear properly fitted glasses, as advised by an Optometrist
  • Take time to adjust to new lenses
  • Make sure bifocals or multifocals fit correctly
  • Allow your eyes to adjust when moving to an area of different light
  • Clean your glasses often

Tips to make your environment safer

  • Ensure there is good lighting in your house. If you need to increase lighting around the home, consider increasing the strength of light globes, using a torch, adding lamps, and increasing natural light.
  • Avoid patterned carpets and furniture.
  • Put contrast strips on the edge of stairs, any changes in floor surfaces, and on shelves to help see depth.
  • Mark pillars, poles, and other structures that may obscure walkways.
  • When moving into an area with different light, stop and hold onto a steady object while your eyes adjust.
  • Mark glass doors at eye level.
  • Reduce glare by installing blinds or curtains and using matte surfaces for tables and countertops.
  • Remove any tripping hazards in the home.

Who can help you to check your eyesight?

Doctors or GPs

If you have any concerns about your eyes or eyesight, it is best to speak to your doctor or GP at your next appointment. If you don’t have a regular doctor or GP, use Health Direct to find one near you.

Optometrists

An optometrist can help you with eye or vision issues as well as prescribe glasses. You should see an optometrist every two years to have your eyes checked or if there are any changes to your eyesight. Optometry WA can help you to find a local optometrist in your area.

Aboriginal Health Workers

Aboriginal Health Workers can help you to find services that suit your needs. They help to provide a link between Aboriginal communities and health care services. For more information visit the services below:

Other vision services

Services such as Vision Australia and VisAbility help people with low vision to stay independent.

Making your home safer and wearing safe footwear are also important for improving your health and preventing falls. Learn how you can Make Your Home Safer and Wear Safe Footwear to prevent falls.

Stay On Your Feet® Check Your Eyesight resources

Find Out More

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