Changes to your vision are common occurrences as you age. As you approach your golden years, knowing what to expect from your eyes and when to contact your optometrist can help you limit the impact these changes have on your daily life. Here are some vision issues every senior should be aware of. Common Age-Related Vision Issues
As you approach and reach your 60s, it’s important to be aware of common age-related vision issues. A number of these eye diseases develop painlessly and can alter your vision permanently. Regular eye exams are the best way to ensure that these problems are detected and treated early.
Here are some age-related vision issues to be aware of:
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD): AMD affects a light-sensitive portion of the eye known as the macula. This is the part of the retina that allows us to see fine detail and some colors and central vision. Loss of this central vision can affect your ability to read, drive, watch TV, and recognize faces.
Diabetic retinopathy: This condition occurs in people with uncontrolled blood sugar. It is the result of progressive damage to the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina. These damaged blood vessels leak blood and other fluids that cause retinal tissue to swell and cloud vision. The condition usually affects both eyes. The longer a person has diabetes, the greater the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy.
Glaucoma: Glaucoma occurs when the eye loses the ability to drain fluid properly. This causes a buildup of pressure which can damage the optic nerve. Glaucoma is often painless and can have no symptoms. It can affect your peripheral vision.
Cataracts: When you have a cataract, the lenses in your eyes become cloudy. This “cloud” is caused by a buildup of protein in the lens of your eye. The protein buildup prevents light rays from passing through your lens, causing blurry vision, decreased contrast sensitivity, dulling of colors, and increased sensitivity to glare.
Dry eye: Tears maintain the health of the front surface of the eye and provide clear vision. When a person produces too few or poor-quality tears, it results in a condition known as dry eye. Dry eye is a common and often chronic problem, particularly in older adults.
Retinal detachment: This occurs when there is a tearing or separation of the retina from the underlying tissue. Causes include trauma to the eye or head, changes to the fluid in the back of your eye, health problems like advanced diabetes, and inflammatory eye disorders. If not treated promptly, it can cause permanent vision loss.
Regular eye exams are vital for preventing and diagnosing these common age-related vision issues. As you reach your senior years, make sure you are scheduling annual eye examinations and contacting your optometrist immediately if you notice any changes in your vision. Low Vision Issues
Low vision is significant vision loss due to eye disease or injuries. It is characterized by:
Loss of central or side vision
Blurred or hazy vision
Trouble recognizing faces
Issues reading and driving
It’s important to note that low vision is NOT a part of the normal aging process, even though it occurs primarily in persons over 60. If you’re experiencing any of these low vision symptoms, talk with your eye doctor immediately. They will diagnosis and treat any underlying conditions and recommend vision aids to help you see. These could include:
Brighter lighting in your living areas
Large print materials and visual devices
Magnification tools and other adaptive devices
At Eden Prairie Eye Care, our goal is to make sure you are seeing your best so you can live your best. To ensure that any age-related vision issues are diagnosed early, schedule an appointment with Dr. Oker today! Call our clinic today at (952) 944-2792 or make an appointment online. We’ll make sure that you have to best vision possible, at any age!