Make no mistake: safeguarding your vision as you age should be a priority for everyone. If you are approaching your senior years or care for an aging parent, be aware of the changes that take place over time especially those that affect vision.
Visual changes begin to occur in our 40s, for instance it gets more difficult to see up close to read and clearly see things like the dashboard of our car. As we approach 60, more changes are in store. Some are gradual and don’t affect our lifestyle and activities, but others are more serious and can be dangerous to our vision.
If you are approaching senior citizen status or caring for one, pay attention as we pass out some tips for safeguarding your vision as you age.
Safeguarding your Vision from Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a disease that attacks the optic nerve and can cause blindness if not diagnosed in time. We become more likely to develop glaucoma as we age. The problem with this insidious eye disease is that it has no noticeable symptoms until it has already damaged your vision.
With glaucoma the clear fluid inside our eyes does not drain properly causing a buildup of pressure known as intra-ocular pressures or IOP. Sometimes the eye produces an inordinate amount of this fluid. In either case, it damages the optic nerve.
Our optic nerve carries the visual information from the retina to our brain, and if it becomes compromised, we lose vision. Glaucoma begins by affecting peripheral vision and if left untreated will cause blindness. The only good news concerning glaucoma is that it develops slowly. Although there is no cure, if it is diagnosed at an early stage, it can be treated to prevent its progression.
If you have a family history of glaucoma, are African American or Hispanic, and are diabetic, you are at a higher risk to develop this serious eye disease.
Early detection and treatment is the only way to safeguard your vision from glaucoma.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
AMD is an eye disease that affect the macula located at the center of the retina. If left untreated it will diminish central vision. Patients with AMD lose the ability to see fine detail, color, the ability to read and drive. Even faces become difficult to recognize.
Because this disease is age related, patients should begin to have their vision checked for AMD starting at age 60. Risk factors for developing age related macular degeneration include:
- High blood pressure
- Having a family history of AMD
- Having blue eyes
Although AMD does not usually lead to blindness, it can dramatically interfere with lifestyle and all normal activities. If you have any of the risk factors for AMD or are approaching age 60, schedule a dilated eye exam with the eye professionals at OptiVision Eye Care.
This serious eye disease associated with diabetes damages the blood vessels that feed the retina. The longer you have diabetes the more likely you are to develop diabetic retinopathy. With this disease leakages occur causing retinal tissue to swell. It clouds vision and can eventually lead to total loss of vision.
Since it is the leading cause of blindness in the US, all patients with diabetes should have annual dilated eye exams.
A common result of the aging eye is the development of a cataract. This eye issue occurs as the clear lens in our eye becomes cloudy and yellow with age. In this particular case, the prognosis is excellent!
You are now able to restore your vision after cataract surgery like never before. Laser enhanced high definition cataract surgery is just one new technology available at OptiVision Eye Care.
Have you noticed it’s becoming more problematic to drive at dusk, the glare of headlights is distracting and everyday activities like watching TV and reading are slowly becoming more tedious? If you have recently gotten new glasses or contact lenses, and nothing seems to resolve your visual issues, chances are you may be experiencing low vision.
Low vision usually becomes a problem after age 65. In most cases lost vision cannot be restored and sadly it is commonly related to several of the diseases discussed earlier. Whatever the cause, there are some remedies.
If you or someone you know is living with diminished vision, here are some remedies and tips for coping with low vision.
Contact the eye care professionals at OptiVision Eye Care and schedule a general eye exam to safeguard your vision from all of the diseases and eye issues that come with growing older.