As we age our eyes undergo changes which can affect the quality of our vision. This is especially true of people who are 60 years of age and older; however, physical changes in the eye can cause problems at any age.
The following are some common eye problems that occur as we age and what can be done about them.
Problem: You have to hold reading material farther away from your eyes in order to read it.
What to Do: Presbyopia (weakening of near vision focus) is a normal condition of aging eyes and does not necessarily indicate the presence of disease. Have an eye examination every one to two years and ask the eye doctor whether you would benefit from the use of vision correction appliances such as glasses or contact lenses.
Problem: People in their 50s are at an increased risk of dry eyes and Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).
What to Do: Control lighting and eliminate glare on the computer screen; establish a proper working distance and posture for screen viewing; make sure you diet includes high levels of omega-3 fatty acids or antioxidants.
Problem: People in their 50s are at an increased risk for cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration (AMD).
What to Do: Schedule routine eye examinations every one to two years.
Problem: Presbyopia (difficulty with near vision focus) becomes more advanced.
What to Do: Talk to your optometrist about whether you would benefit from eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Problem: Risk of dry eye is increased for menopausal women.
What to Do: Inform your eye doctor of any medications you are taking. Some prescription medications can cause visual side effects, including dry eye.
Problem: The risks increase for age-related diseases of the eye.
What to Do: In addition to having eye exams regularly performed, schedule an annual physical examination as well so that physical conditions that might cause eye problems, such as diabetes, and identified.
Problems: Difficulty seeing in low-light environments.
What to Do: Use brighter lights when reading. Allow additional time for your eyes to adjust in changing light conditions and be especially cautious while driving.
Problem: You are experiencing visual disturbances such as spots or “floaters”.
What to Do: Small, dark spots and floaters are normal in aging eyes, but you should see an eye doctor immediately if eye floaters appear suddenly, as this could be caused by a retinal detachment.
What to Do: Most people in their 70s and 80s already have or will develop cataracts. The only solution currently available for cataracts is surgery.
Problem: You notice a decline in colour vision and/or a narrowing of visual fields.
What to Do: Ask your eye doctor about specialized eyewear or lenses that can improve contrast vision. Use extra caution while operating a motor vehicle.
As with any physical ailment, early detection and prompt treatment are important factors in the correction or control of eye problems. Contact our office to schedule your eye exam today.