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Eyesight is one of the first senses to weaken as a result of aging. In fact, vision typically begins to decline as early as age 40 and gradually worsens with time. As eyes lose their effectiveness, reading becomes more of a challenge and it can become increasingly difficult to distinguish colors, distances, and objects. It’s even common to switch from nearsightedness to farsightedness or vice-versa. Oftentimes glasses, contacts, or eye procedures can help counter these changes in vision, however, proper lighting is also enormously helpful. With just a few adjustments, lighting can greatly improve your safety and reduce eyestrain.
- Ambient Light
As opposed to younger eyes, aging eyes need three to six times more light. Make sure to give your eyes all the light they need with proper ambient lighting sources that illuminate rooms in their entirety. Often, central ceiling lights provide inadequate lighting, but a new light fixture or higher quality bulb can make all the difference. Avoid fumbling in the dark by using central lighting sources that can be activated with an easy to find switch.
Light fixtures have a wattage limit set by the manufacturer and exceeding the limit can be dangerous. If however, your fixture is rated for a lower wattage, it doesn’t mean that you can’t use a bright light. Some types of bulbs such as a 10-watt LED or 15-watt CFL emit the same amount of light as a 60-watt regular incandescent bulb. By switching to these types of lights you can improve the lighting in your home without the added cost of changing fixtures. These newer, more modern lights are also cheaper and will last for hundreds of hours.
- Auxiliary Lighting
An easy way to increase lighting in your home is the addition of floor and table lamps. Add small lamps where additional light is needed to enhance your decor while creating a friendlier, safer environment for yourself and your loved ones. This way, walking around your home does not include any unfortunate surprises caused by poor lighting.
- Open those shades!
Nothing is a more efficient and predictable source of light than the sun. By making it habit to open all your shades you can light up your home, reduce your electricity usage, and dramatically lower the risk of getting hurt in your household areas. The sun’s UV-B rays also help your body produce vitamin D, which reduces your risk of certain diseases and helps regulate the immune system.
- Consistency is the key to safety
Lighting disparities between rooms can alter depth perception or create unnecessary glare, setting the stage for an accident. Shadows for instance can make areas appear to be lower than they really are. Glare on the other hand can also trick seniors into seeing a wet or slippery floor. Avoid accidents by improving the consistency of lighting in your house and make sure to take the time to turn on all the lights when you enter a room.
- Arts & Crafts Lighting
Although hobbies are a wonderful way to spend leisure time, their required attention to detail can be quite taxing on the eyes. Regardless of the craft, focus and hand-eye coordination require clean and well-lit workspaces. In addition to improving safety, hobby lighting reduces eyestrain, especially if you are working with small details. There are special hobby glasses available that offer various levels of magnification along with built in lighting.
Overall, the key to success is to be mindful and in the moment. Be Active Be Well
DISCLAIMER: This article contains information that is intended to help the readers be better informed regarding exercise and health care. It is presented as general advice on health care. Always consult your doctor for your individual needs. Before beginning any new exercise program it is recommended that you seek medical advice from your personal physician. This article is not intended to be a substitute for the medical advice of a licensed physician. The reader should consult with their doctor in any matters relating to his/her health.