Vision changes are inevitable as you age, but those changes don’t have to impact your lifestyle in a major way if you stay on top of regular eye care. Know what to expect and when to seek professional help: this is the solution to a lifetime of good vision. But even as you reach your mid-60s and beyond, you should be aware of the warning signs that signal age-related eye health problems that could lead to vision loss.
Keep in mind that many eye diseases have no symptoms early on. You may not feel pain or notice changes in your vision until the condition is very far along. Making good lifestyle choices and getting regular eye exams to detect the signs of disease early will greatly improve your chances of maintaining strong eye health and vision.
The American Optometric Association recommends annual eye examinations for anyone over the age of 60.
Age-Related Vision Problems
Once you turn 60, you could be at risk for any number of eye diseases that could change your vision forever. The good news is, the earlier you can detect these problems and treat them, the better.
Here are some vision disorders to know about:
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease impacting the macula (the middle of the light-sensitive retina at the back of your eye), causing central vision loss. The macula allows us to see fine detail and colors, so activities like reading, watching TV, driving and recognizing faces all need strong central vision.
Cataracts, cloudy or opaque areas in the lens of the eye, can interfere with normal vision. They typically cause blurry vision, decrease contrast sensitivity, dull colors and increase sensitivity to glare.
Diabetic retinopathy, a condition suffered by those with diabetes, results from damage to the blood vessels that bring blood to the retina over a period of time. Those damaged blood vessels can leak blood and other fluids, resulting in swollen retinal tissue and cloudy vision. It normally affects both eyes, and the longer a person has diabetes, the higher the risk for development of diabetic retinopathy. On top of that, the instability of glucose measurements over time can speed up the development or severity of the condition. In the worst case scenarios, blindness can develop.
Dry eye is when you don’t produce enough tears. Tears are necessary to maintain the health of the eye and give you clear vision. Dry eye is very common but can worsen in your senior years.
Glaucoma, a group of eye diseases that results in damage to the optic nerve, can result in vision loss if not treated early. If you have a family history of glaucoma, are African American and are a senior citizen, you have a bigger risk of developing this disease. Glaucoma is usually painless, with no symptoms. But as the years pass, it can cause loss of peripheral vision.
Retinal detachment is when the retina tears or separates from the underlying tissue. This can happen in an instant due to changes in the vitreous fluid that fills the back of your eye. It can also be brought on by trauma to the eye or head, inflammatory eye disorders and diabetes. It can even cause permanent vision loss if not caught right away.
Contact Simon Eye Associates
If you are concerned about any of the above conditions, or it’s time for your yearly exam, contact us today at 302-239-1933.