In the same way that your body ages, your eyesight can age and experience changes over the course of time. As your age increases, eye problems can become more common. This means it is important to look out for signs of age related vision issues. While there are things you can do to maintain healthy eyes and prevent vision loss, it is equally important to understand the common types of age related eye problems and the typical symptoms.
Common Types of Age-Related ProblemsPresbyopia
Presbyopia is when farsightedness occurs due to our eyes’ lenses losing flexibility. Early signs might become present around the age of 40 which can include headaches when reading, tired eyes, blurred vision, or feeling the need to hold things further away to be able to read them. If you find yourself experiencing these symptoms, a pair of good reading glasses will often help resolve the issue.Floaters
Floaters are small specks or spots that float across the field of vision. They are usually black or gray and drift across the eye as it moves. This common eye problem is normal with age, but sometimes, floaters can indicate a more serious problem. If floaters are accompanied by flashes of light or loss of peripheral vision or if the number of spots begins to increase over time then be sure to contact a doctor immediately.Dry Eyes
Dry eyes occur when the tear glands are not producing enough tears or are producing the wrong type of tears which leaves the eyes with inadequate lubrication. This can create inflammation of the eyes causing them to itch and burn. A serious case of dry eyes can damage the surface of the eye and even impair vision. Allergies, hormonal changes, and autoimmune diseases are just a few examples of underlying issues that can lead to dry eyes. Most often, a case of dry eyes can be treated with eye drops or changes in lifestyle.Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a progressive disease that occurs when fluid builds up causing high pressure in the eye which then damages the optic nerve. For people over the age of 60, glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness. Without treatment, glaucoma can lead to vision loss that cannot be recovered, so it is crucial to be on the lookout for common symptoms of glaucoma. Routine checkups are the best way of detecting issues like glaucoma that lack many significant warning signs and symptoms.Eyelid Problems
The eyelids play a critical role in maintaining your ocular health. Itching and tearing are signs of problems with your eyelids that can prevent them from fulfilling their purpose: protecting your eyes, spreading out tears, and preventing your eyes from being exposed to too much light. Some additional signs of eyelid problems are drooping, swollen, or twitching eyelids. These signs can indicate problems like a stye or pinkeye. There are a variety of ways to treat eyelid issues. If your eyelids experience any changes or discomfort, visit your doctor to determine the appropriate treatment.
Other common age-related eye problems include cataracts, retinal detachment, or conjunctivitis. While some of these issues are serious and can cause severe damage to the eyes, many of them are treatable and preventable. Early detection is essential and can be achieved through regular eye exams.
Preventing Age-Related Eye Problems
The best way you can prevent these problems is to regularly have your eyes checked by a professional. This allows you to be aware of any issues that lack early signs or symptoms and get ahead on treating them. Along with regular eye exam appointments, there are additional measures you can take to ensure that your eyes are staying healthy. The National Aging Institute recommends these tips to maintain healthy eyes:
- Protect your eyes from harmful UV rays by wearing the appropriate sunglasses or a hat.
- Stop smoking.
- Make healthy food choices for your eyes.
- Stay active to maintain a healthy weight.
- Take your eyes off of your computer every 20 minutes to prevent eye strain while working.
- Maintain a healthy blood pressure.
- Control diabetes if you have it.
Even if you think your vision is fine, an eye exam is always a good idea as it is the only way to be sure. Regularly seeing your eye doctor is the best way to prevent eye problems or stop existing ones from getting worse. Remember that although not all eye problems are preventable, many of them are easy to treat when detected early by a professional. Always contact your doctor when you experience any changes in your vision to stay ahead on your health.