As a person ages, it’s normal for their health to change. While some see it as a bad thing, others will celebrate the fact that they’re ageing, and they get more time to enjoy life. Many of these age-related issues will be minor and nothing to be concerned about, but then there are those you should be aware of so you can seek help if needed.
Vision is something that can certainly cause you issues as you age and it can range from a minor inconvenience to something much more serious. Here’s a look at five common issues that can affect your vision as you age, and what you should do about it.
Change in Vision
One very common issue that can happen as you age is your vision will change. Whether you’ve worn glasses your entire life, or have always had good eyesight, there comes a point where your vision will start to deteriorate. You may start to notice that you have a hard time reading items that are close to your face.
Perhaps you need more light to see properly, your perception of colour has changed, and you may even start to notice a glare especially when you’re driving. If any of these issues sound familiar, it’s a good time to book an exam with your eye doctor. They can check to make sure your eyes are healthy and prescribe you glasses if needed.
In general, you can expect your eyes to change after age 40. It’s very common to require bifocals (reading glasses), especially once you hit 60 years of age.
While dry eyes don’t just affect seniors, it tends to be more common as you age. Dry eyes are just that: your eyes feel dry, irritated, sore, burning and itchy. It can be very uncomfortable and distracting.
Dry eyes occur when your tear glands aren’t making enough tears to lubricate your eyes. An eye doctor will sometimes prescribe eye drops and even suggest that you start using a humidifier in your home to create more moisture in the air.
As a senior, there’s a good chance you know someone with cataracts, it is that common. Cataracts occur when a cloudy area forms on the eye’s lens. These small clouds obstruct the light from passing through properly which results in blurred vision.
Over time they can get bigger and more obstructive. The good news is that they don’t cause any sort of pain, just an inconvenience. It may be necessary to have surgery to address the issue.
Then we have glaucoma which is much more serious than the above-mentioned issues. Glaucoma is a condition where pressure builds up inside the eye. The pressure can be so much that it can cause damage such as vision loss and blindness. This kind of damage is permanent.
What makes this scary is that there aren’t usually red flags in terms of pain, discomfort or any feeling of pressure in the eye. The person likely doesn’t know they have glaucoma until it’s already caused significant damage. The best way to prevent it is for people to visit their eye doctor regularly for check-ups.
Some risk factors can increase your odds of developing glaucoma and they include diabetes, race, certain medications, age and heredity. Eye injury can also lead to glaucoma.
In terms of treatment, there are a few different things the doctor may try. This includes oral medication, eye drops, surgery, or laser treatment. This all falls under the umbrella of ophthalmology which treats such other issues as cataracts, myopia, AMD and more. Ophthalmology deals with the physiology, anatomy and diseases that affect the eye.
To learn more about ophthalmology treatment you can visit a clinic such as Circle Health Group. Its team of ophthalmology consultant specialists are well-versed in a wide array of treatments and surgeries to ensure you have a positive outcome. The treatment is customised for your needs and your diagnosis.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
Finally, we have age-related macular degeneration (AMD) which is another serious issue that can occur with your eyes. This is an issue that can result in severe loss of vision. It affects people aged 50 and over. Just like so many other diseases, you may not experience any symptoms at first, which is why regular check-ups are good.
Once it becomes advanced, vision loss can be significant which means you may not be able to read and see people’s faces clearly and you’ll likely lose your ability to drive. While there is no specific treatment to cure it, there are treatments that can help and even bring back some of the vision that was lost.
As you age, vision problems become more common, but not all present red flags and symptoms you’ll recognise. This is why it’s so important to stay on top of your eye health and not skip visits to the eye doctor. Early detection is key with many eye issues.