Aging And Vision - Senior Eye Care
The Effects of Aging Eyes
The health of your eyes – and your vision – is always changing. As you age, differences in how well you see become more apparent. While some changes may be normal, others can be more serious. Learn what aging eye problems are the most common and what symptoms to look out for. Some common problems associated with aging eyes are:
- Presbyopia: Around the age of 40, many people will lose the ability to clearly focus on near objects or read small print. If you find yourself holding printed material close to your face, ask your optician about prescribing reading glasses.
- Dimmed Vision: Your vision may weaken over time, making it difficult to see in dim rooms or at night. Using brighter lighting will help relieve eye strain when reading or viewing objects in darker spaces.
- Floaters: These are tiny specks that appear to float across your field of vision. Floaters are often seen on bright days or in well-lit rooms. Most of the time they are normal, however, they could also be an indicator of a more series eye problem. Your optometrist can help diagnose if the floaters are a cause for concern. If you persistently see them, arrange an eye exam to learn more.
- Color Shifts: Eye lenses can become discolored, making it harder to distinguish between certain shades of colors. While there is no cure, special lenses may be prescribed to help correct this problem.
- Tearing: This may occur as a reaction to wind, light or temperature sensitivity. Wearing sunglasses when outside can help protect your eyes. However, it could also be a sign of a blocked tear duct or an eye infection. If you’re experiencing constant tearing both indoors and outdoors, see an eye doctor for help diagnosing and treating the problem.
- Dry Eyes: With age, the tear glands in your eyes will produce fewer tears. Since not all eye drops are the same, your optometrist can help prescribe the right ones to offset this issue.
- Undetected Issues: Treatment can’t happen until diagnosis and over time untreated problems can lead to worsening eye conditions.
- Cloudy or fuzzy vision
- Double vision in one eye
- Halos around lights
- Sudden blurred vision
- Tunnel vision
- Eye pain (associated with angle closure glaucoma)
- Perceived distortion of straight lines
- Blurry vision
- Difficulty reading or seeing objects in low light
- Seeing glares
- Blurred vision
- Halos around bright lights
- Severe eye pain
As important as annual eye exams are throughout life, they become much more important as you age due to these common problems associated with aging eyes. In addition to yearly eye exams, you should have your eyes and prescription checked anytime there is a change in your vision. Pearle Vision accepts vision insurance for seniors, and other independent vision insurance plans. Visit our insurance page or call your local Pearle Vision for details.
Common Age-Related Eye Diseases
There are four common aging eye diseases that affect people who are 65 and older: Cataracts, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and ocular hypertension. Many of these diseases have few or no symptoms, but they can progress to vision loss or blindness if left untreated. Regular eye exams are your best protection for detecting and treating these diseases. Learn more about them below.
More than half of all Americans older than 65 have cataracts. A cataract is a clouding that covers a part or your entire eye lens, making it difficult to see. However, in some cases people with cataracts may experience:
Treatment: Surgery is the only way to repair vision loss caused by cataracts. Regular eye exams and monitoring can help your optometrist determine if and when surgery will be necessary. They can also refer you to a surgeon. During the surgery the cloudy lens will be removed and replaced with a new one. Fortunately, this is a common and successful medical procedure.
Glaucoma occurs when fluid pressure in the eye increases, which can cause serious eye damage and lead to blindness. Since there are typically no symptoms, many people don’t realize they have it until vision loss has occurred. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. In most cases glaucoma is hereditary. If you have a relative with glaucoma, make sure to arrange regular eye exams with your optometrist and mention your family history.
Those who do show signs of glaucoma may experience:
Treatment: Options may include prescription eye drops, laser treatments or surgery to lower eye pressure. Your optometrist will determine the best treatment option and can refer you to a specialist if needed.
This disease affects the central vision, making it difficult to read, drive and perform other daily activities. While people rarely go completely blind from age-related macular degeneration, it is the leading cause of vision loss in Americans. Age-related macular degeneration symptoms may include:
Treatment: There is no treatment for age-related macular degeneration, however, some medications have been shown to slow the progression of the disease. Early detection is key in managing macular degeneration.
This disease refers to higher-than-normal pressure in the eye and can be a precursor to the onset of glaucoma. Ten out of every 100 people over 40 will have ocular hypertension – but only one of those 10 will develop glaucoma. Symptoms of ocular hypertension may include:
Treatment: Similar to glaucoma, treatment options aim to decrease eye pressure with prescription eye drops, laser treatments or surgery.
If you are due for an eye exam or are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, arrange your eye exam today at your neighbourhood Pearle Vision EyeCare Centre.