Older Americans are seeing better — but still need regular eye exams

eye exam, older American, visual impairmentAs we age, there’s no shortage of aches and pains that begin to flare up. One issue that many of us deal with is deteriorating vision. But according to a new study, visual impairment among Americans 65 and older has gone down 58 percent since the 1980s.

That good news is in a study from researchers at Northwestern University, and was published in the journal Ophthalmology. They found that between 1984 and 2010, visual impairment in Americans 65 years of age and older had dropped significantly. That’s due in large part to improved techniques in cataract surgery and lower rates of macular degeneration, they say, as well as people doing a better job of staying on top of eye health in general.

Specifically, the researchers said there were three main areas that helped lower the rate of vision problems in this group:

The study authors also pointed out that much more work needs to be done on identifying treatment strategies that can help this trend continue. One way to ensure your own eye health is to have regular exams. If it’s been more than a year since you last saw your eye care professional, now’s the time to book an appointment and make sure that there are no problems that need to be taken care of.