It’s no secret that as we age, parts of our body begin to decline
and don’t function as they once did. Unfortunately, our vision is
no different. Most people over 40 will experience age-related vision loss due to
presbyopia, cataracts or another condition. Have you noticed that you now need glasses
to see up close or that you struggle to see things at a distance or to
distinguish between colors?
Vision problems shouldn’t stop you from living your life, and most
age-related eye diseases and vision problems are easily treated with cataract
surgery. It’s important to understand what to expect as you age
and what eye disease you may encounter with age.
Call your eye doctor to set up a
comprehensive eye exam. Many vision problems and eye diseases can be detected with a thorough
exam before you experience any warning signs and symptoms. The earlier
these eye problems are diagnosed and treated, the greater your chances
of restoring your vision.
These are some of the most common age-related vision problems and eye diseases:
Presbyopia-- As we mature, the crystalline lens of the eye loses its elasticity and
causes the near point of clear vision to be removed farther from the eye.
You may need a different correction for close work than you need for distance
vision. Presbyopia usually occurs in the early or mid-forties.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration-- Sharp, central vision gradually diminishes as the macula is gradually destroyed
with age-related macular degeneration. You may experience difficulty completing
common daily tasks like reading or driving. It is common in adults over
50. Sometimes, macular degeneration advances so slowly that symptoms aren’t
noticed for a long time. This disease can be detected early with a comprehensive eye exam.
Cataracts-- A cataract is a clouding of the focusing lens of the eye. It is not a growth
or film on the eye. Cataracts can blur vision, making it difficult to
see street signs, traffic lights while driving. They can also make it
difficult to read, watch TV and perform other common daily tasks. Once
the focusing lens is clouded, there is no way to clear it. Cataract surgery
must be performed to replace the focusing lens of the eye.
Diabetic Retinopathy-- With diabetic retinopathy, blood vessels in the back of the eye can leak,
impairing vision. This condition is caused by diabetes and can lead to
a significant loss of vision. It is the leading cause of blindness in
the 20-64 year age group, and is one of the most frequent causes of retinal
blindness in the world. About 25 percent of diabetics have some form of
diabetic retinopathy, and five percent have severe disease. Early detection
of diabetic retinopathy with a
comprehensive eye exam is vital to saving vision.
Glaucoma-- A condition in which the fluid in the eye does not flow normally resulting
in high pressure inside the eye. When pressure rises inside the eye, optic
nerve damage and permanent blindness may result if the high pressure is
not controlled. You may be at higher risk of developing glaucoma if you
have high blood pressure, high blood sugar or a family history of the
disease. Again, early detection of glaucoma with a comprehensive eye exam is vita.
Vision loss with age can be expected, but it should not be ignored. Schedule
annual eye exams to rule out a serious eye disease. If you have experienced
a change in your vision, have difficulty seeing to complete daily tasks
or difficulty distinguishing between colors, contact your eye doctor immediately
for a comprehensive eye exam.
When considering your eye care, be sure to stay up to date with the latest
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