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Common Age-related Vision Changes

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Blog

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EyeQue Team

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August 4, 2018

Aged Eyes

As you age, the body begins to lose some of the strength it once had; the eyes are no different. Over time, you may experience vision changes like:

  • Presbyopia
  • Cataracts
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Glaucoma
  • Macular degeneration

These changes are common among adults, especially those in their forties and beyond. While these issues and changes are not life-threatening, monitoring them with annual visits and at-home vision monitoring is important to the health of your eyes.

Common Vision Changes

Presbyopia

Around age forty, the lens of the eye begins to lose flexibility, and it becomes increasingly difficult to focus on objects at close range. Presbyopia is commonly confused with farsightedness. While both impacts the ability to focus on close-range objects, only presbyopia occurs due to age.

When presbyopia settles in, you’ll likely need reading glasses.  As you age, presbyopia becomes increasingly more severe, you’ll need bifocals or trifocals.

Presbyopia can be corrected via surgery such as LASIK, refractive lens exchange, corneal inlays, or keratoplasty.

Cataracts

Cataracts are another common age-related vision change that is a normal part of the aging process. Half of the sixty-five-year olds in America have some form of cataract in one or both of their eyes.

If you notice changes in your vision, talk to your eye doctor right away. Cataract surgery can effectively restore any vision loss due to cataracts. However, it is best to have them removed at the earliest onset.

Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is damage to the retina caused by diabetes. It occurs when blood sugar accumulates in blood vessels and prevents the flow of blood to locations throughout the body, including the eyes. While it is a common age-related vision change, it typically affects those with diabetes who do not get regular eye exams or properly monitor their diabetes.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is one of the most dangerous age-related vision changes because it often shows no symptoms. It occurs when pressure builds inside the eye and causes damage to the optic nerve. Because glaucoma shows no symptoms, routine eye exams are the best way to prevent blindness, which can occur when glaucoma goes undiagnosed.

Macular degeneration

The macula controls the fine details you see on TV, in people’s faces, as well as letters on a page when you read. It is located in the center of the retina and as you age, new blood vessels from where they do not belong. The formation of these blood vessels causes deterioration, which results in a progressive loss of vision. This progressive loss of vision is called macular degeneration. When macular degeneration begins to occur, you may notice distortion or blurriness, or you may see black obscurities in the center of your vision.

Remedies for age-related vision changes

With almost all age-related vision disorders, monitoring your eye health is key. Routine eye exams are the best way to ensure you maintain sharp vision into your senior years. Diagnosing glaucoma, especially, vitally depends upon early detection, which can be treated with surgery. However, medicated eye drops are often prescribed to reduce pressure in the eye and, therefore, control the disorder. Macular degeneration also relies on early detection. Your ophthalmologist will be able to spot symptoms before they even begin to appear. In addition to routine eye exams, wearing sunglasses, eating a healthy diet, and at-home vision monitoring with the EyeQue Personal Vision Tracker and EyeQue Insight can also help prolong common age-related vision problems.

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