If you want strong vision in your old age, you need to take care of your health from the beginning. Vision problems in old age are described in this article. Scroll down to know about aging eye problems, and how they are treated.
Aging can affect your eyesight significantly. Some eye problems do not exhibit early signs or symptoms. Therefore, a regular visit to an ophthalmologist for an eye checkup plays an important role in eye health. Although vision problems can affect anyone at any age, they are more common in the elderly. There exist numerous eye problems, and it is just impossible to enlist all those problems here. Here is an overview of old age vision problems, that are common in the elderly.
Vision Problems in Old Age
Sudden loss of vision, blurred vision, double vision, night blindness, color blindness, redness or swelling of an eye, eyelid problems, dry eyes, watery eyes, and eye pain, are various types of eye problems that are developed along with aging.
Slowly losing the capacity of seeing close objects (especially small print) is known as presbyopia, which is considered as a normal part of aging. Closer objects (letters) start appearing blurry, usually after the age 40. A person needs to hold the newspaper a little bit away from his / her eyes. This happens because of aging and hardening of the natural lens situated behind your iris.
Wearing glasses helps correct this vision problem. Almost each and every person is affected by presbyopia when he / she enters into his / her forties. A diet rich in vitamins A, C, E, omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, etc., may not prevent eye problems all together, but can help prevent macular degeneration and worsening of the situation.
Cloudy spots develop in the eye lenses along with aging, and they cause blurred vision. When the cloudy areas or cataracts are small, they may not affect your vision. But as they grow, they may cause pain, redness or tearing in the eye, and they may reduce your vision significantly. A person diagnosed with cataracts has to undergo a cataract surgery. The surgical procedure is quite common and safe. It helps restore your vision.
Glaucoma exhibits no early symptoms like impaired vision or eye pain. Too much fluid pressure inside the eye results in glaucoma, which can lead to complete vision loss, if not treated promptly. Fluid pressure inside the eye increases when the watery fluid between the cornea and the lens gets blocked. Doctors may prescribe eye drops or may treat glaucoma with lasers or surgery.
Visibility of floaters is one of the most common vision problems in old age. Degeneration of the retina due to old age results in the development of small specks that float constantly around in the field of vision. Some people complain about only one black spot while some notice hundreds of black spots. Floaters are usually noticed in the form of small spots, strands, cobwebs, straight and curved lines, strings, or O or C shaped blobs.
The causes of eye floaters may vary from person to person. Arthritis, leukemia, diabetes, tuberculosis, sarcoidosis, eye tumors, syphilis, lymphoma, etc., can lead to the development of floaters. Sometimes, floaters disappear naturally. No medication can remove eye floaters. Surgeries are sometimes performed, but no one can ensure positive results. Moreover, surgeries involve great risk.
A person faces the problem of dry eyes when tear glands do not work properly. Dryness results in an itching or burning sensation. It can affect the vision significantly. Women are more likely to face the problem of dry eyes. Doctors may prescribe eye drops or ointments. In case of severe symptoms, the use of special contact lenses is recommended.
Constant tearing leads to watery eyes. A person may be light sensitive or he may be excessively sensitive to wind or temperature fluctuations. Such a person should use goggles to prevent irritation. He should consult an ophthalmologist, as excessive tearing can be due to an eye infection or blocked tear glands. Prompt treatment can prevent vision loss.
A dilated eye exam helps detect eye problems related to the retina, that are associated with aging. Macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy can be detected during regular checkups. Diabetic patients need to control their blood sugar levels to maintain proper eye health. A detached retina is considered a serious situation and needs immediate medical attention. If someone suddenly starts seeing new floaters or light flashes, he should immediately consult an ophthalmologist. Surgery or laser treatment helps maintain the vision.
Apart from the above mentioned eye problems, an elderly member of the family may suffer from blindness due to reduced blood flow to the optic nerves. Inflammation of the optic nerves or other blood vessels in the brain, and brain tumors, can affect the vision significantly. People with high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, paralysis, stroke, etc., may have blood circulation problems, or they may have problems in muscular movements.
All this can affect eye movement and vision significantly. A healthy diet and regular checkups can help prevent old age vision problems. Eye problems or eye pain should never be neglected. Prompt treatment helps avoid blindness and lifetime disability.