The loss of visual acuity as you age can be a difficult realization. This is something we all know we’ll have to deal with at some point. But, now research is showing that this isn’t the only age-related change in your vision. Studies have revealed that your ability to see color also declines in old age. These studies noted that color vision decline starts around 70 years of age and greatly decreased from there.
While color blindness or a decline in color vision may not seem like a big deal at 70 years old, when compounded with gradual age-related visual acuity loss, this additional difficulty distinguishing between colors may make getting around that much more difficult.
Why Does Color Vision Decline?
The revelation that color vision experiences a significant decline as we age isn’t particularly new news, but the discovery of the specifics of that decline are. For example, how prevalent color vision decline is, and what colors are most often affected.
The most affected color spectrum was the blue-yellow spectrum, while the red-green spectrum was significantly less prevalent. It’s interesting to note that inherited colorblindness greatly affects the red-green spectrum, so this age-related color vision decline clearly has roots in different areas of the vision field, and visual centers of the brain.
So, why are the elderly experiencing these color vision declines? And, can we prevent or reduce the impact of this decline?
Causes of Color Vision Loss in Old Age
The loss of color vision in old age is difficult to pin down. As mentioned, a decline in eye sight is common as you age. Just like every other part of the body, the eyes age and you begin to notice a change in the way that they work, how clear they are, and more importantly, how clear your vision is. While age-related visual decline isn’t preventable, how much visual acuity is lost and when these changes set in, does seem to be within a person’s control.
Research into the decline of color vision during old age suggests that cataracts and retinal disease cause color vision loss, in addition to normal aging factors. Nutritional deficiencies have also been shown to play a role in vision decline, both age-related and otherwise. Luckily, we don’t have to sit back and let cataracts and age-related decline to occur; there are steps we can take in the fight to prevent these conditions, including maintaining a healthy, nutritional diet.
Staving Off Color Vision Loss and Prolonging Visual Acuity
While aging is something we can’t change, there is a lot we can do to rebuild our vision and hold on to our visual ability. Leading a healthy life is a huge part of having and maintaining healthy eyes. You may not think that exercise could play a role in the health of your eyes, but the body functions as a whole. When your body is healthier, so are your eyes.
Along these same lines, a healthy diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and herbs that support the health of the eyes is essential. Sadly, even with an amazing diet, you may not be getting the types or quantities of nutrients you need to encourage eye health and stave off the onset of age-related vision decline.
Taking a regular supplement will ensure that you’re getting the right vitamins, nutrients, and herbs, as well as make sure that you’re getting them on a regular basis. There are actually 17 different nutrients, vitamins and herbal supplements that have been found to assist in not only maintaining good eye health, but in rebuilding the health and strength of your eyes and your sight.
Some important nutrients include alpha lipoic acid, chromium, ginkgo biloba, N-acetyl cysteine, selenium, bilberry, quercetin, and vitamin A. These nutrients have shown incredible promise in preventing and treating cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, and glaucoma. They also encourage overall, lasting eye health.
The added perk? Taking these essential supplements not only helps to save your color vision, it also serves to save your visual acuity. You’re more likely to have healthier eyes and eyesight because you’re nourishing the eyes. Furthermore, starting on these supplements from an early age will greatly help to provide continual protection as you age.