the need to buy reading glasses to read a newspaper or other small print.
According to the American Lighting Association (ALA), changing the lighting in
your surroundings can go a long way to enhance reading ability and increase
comfort. The first thing people notice as they get older is their loss of ability to see
distance. It typically happens around age 45, and is called presbyopia. By 60 we
develop a ‘fixed focus’ optical system which requires glasses. After age 60,
changes accelerate, so that less light actually reaches the eye requiring more
light to see details as they age. The following changes are occurring:
* reduced visual acuity (ability to see small details)
* reduced contrast sensitivity
(seeing the differences between light and dark objects & surfaces)
* reduced color discrimination
and a longer time is now required to adapt to sudden differences in brightness along
with increased sensitivity to glare.
The main issue is the QUALITY of light. A 60-year-old needs twice as much light as a 30-year-old. The eye loses the ability to accommodate changes quickly and the muscles fatigue having to work harder. Eyes get tired faster, especially with difficult seeing tasks such as driving at night or reading fine print.
The solution is to make seeing easier. Reading large-print books, reducing glare,
setting up special lighting for task areas and having regular eye exams (including retinal) are some solutions. Turning on table lamps while watching TV can reduce the contrast that occurs between a bright screen and the surrounding darkness of a room. A “torchiere” that provides an up light as well as downward illumination for versatility is one of the cheapest and best ways to light a room for someone with aging eyes. Having a light that you can direct, such as a pivoting or adjustable head on a task lamp, is important also.
Advice for older homeowners is to make lighting level adjustments, via dimmers, so they can match the lighting levels to the tasks at hand. Dimmers are ideal in a
bathroom to add low illumination for navigating during the night along with stair and hallway lighting and is a safety consideration.
Our Customer Care division at Stay at Home can provide professional help, recommendations and installation for all of your specific lighting needs.