Many great things come with age: wisdom, maturity, retirement – but, unfortunately, there are many vision changes that you need to be on the lookout for as you get older. While some of these changes are normal parts of the aging process, there are many diseases and dangerous conditions that may present themselves as minor symptoms.
It’s important to keep your health in mind and do everything that you can to prevent damage to your vision as you age. To help you prepare for vision changes and identify problems that you may already be experiencing, we’ve put together a list of the biggest age-related vision changes. Take a look:
Presbyopia is something everyone will experience as part of the natural aging process of the eye. Presbyopia is caused by a loss of flexibility and elasticity of the lens within your eye as it hardens with age, interfering with your ability to focus on things up close.
If you’ve noticed that it’s more difficult for you to focus on objects that are close to your eyes, then you may be experiencing the first signs of presbyopia. Difficulty seeing while performing close-up work like reading, writing, or using a computer is an indication that your eyes are losing their ability to focus due to the hardening of the lens inside of the eye.
Thankfully, presbyopia can easily be treated, sometimes even with LASIK. This is a very common procedure and has helped many people get back to functional vision without the constant need for glasses or contact lenses. If you choose not to treat your presbyopia, you will experience a continuous need for reading glasses, and sometimes even multiple pairs of glasses!
Cataracts are an extremely common condition and are not a cause for alarm (although you should definitely get them taken care of). Many seniors experience cataracts and they are one of the most common causes of sight loss for older people. Beginning as blurry vision, cataracts eventually progress and can make your vision dull and cloudy, essentially making you feel like you’re always looking at the word through a foggy window.
So what causes these cataracts to form? As you get older, the proteins inside of the lens in your eye begin to harden and collect, obscuring your retina’s ability to properly receive light and information through your lens. This blockage of light is what causes the blurry vision from cataracts. There are several factors besides aging which make it more likely that you could develop cataracts, including: diabetes, obesity, smoking, sun damage, and genetics.
Cataracts can now be easily treated with advanced forms of cataract surgery that are very safe and almost always produce great results.
Also known as Age-Related Macular Degeneration or AMD, macular degeneration is a common eye condition that can lead to vision loss and even blindness if left untreated. There are two main forms of AMD: dry macular degeneration and wet macular degeneration. Dry refers to macular degeneration that is caused by a buildup of debris and tissue in the back of the eye, leading to yellow spots that block your central vision. Wet macular degeneration is caused by the growth of new blood vessels in the back of the eye and their eventual leakage of blood and fluid which blocks central vision.
Macular degeneration specifically has to do with the impairment of the macula, a part of your retina that is responsible for central vision. As the macula becomes damaged by other leaked fluid or debris, you may start to notice a blurry or dark spot at the center of your field of vision. AMD is more likely in individuals that are obese, inactive, smoke, or have lighter eye colors.
If you suffer from AMD there is no clear solution at this time, but you should definitely consult with an eye care professional to make sure that you’re doing everything you can to slow the process down and preserve your quality of life.
Want to know more about how you can improve your vision and get the help you need? Contact us today for a free consultation.