I knew our vision gets worse with age (the shape of the eyeball naturally changes) but I didn’t realize our eyes require more light. It would help explain why I often think the room I’m in is dark and why I hate driving at night. – Mark/Editor
Think about this. As aging adults, we need environments that offer four times the light needed when we were younger. Ideally, it’s natural light that’s complemented by high-quality ambient, task or accent lighting.
As we age, even without sobering eye conditions such as age-related macular degeneration or well-ripened-but-yet-to-be-removed cataracts, we lose our ability to focus on written detail or read fine print. And where do we find that small print? On all the over-the-counter medications we purchase, perhaps? On the nutritional labels of all those processed foods we eat too often, perhaps?
Our eyes have less capacity to take in light as we get older. The most frequently cited illustration detailing the impact of the loss suggests an 80-year-old person’s eyes can take in as little as 20 percent of the light they did at age 20. Five years ago when I was ‘less old,’ I would probably have scoffed at the idea of writing a column about the importance of light as it relates to aging vision.