Elderly Vision: 3 Things to Watch Out For | Vision Problems
Good eye vision is essential for everyone and we should all invest our time in eye care to ensure that we avert serious vision problems. Seniors (age 65+) have to pay even more attention to eye care. That is because a range of eye diseases including cataracts, macular degeneration and glaucoma are more likely to occur with age.
The American Association for the Blind says that over 6.5 million Americans who have crossed the age of 65 have a serious visual impairment and the most common causes of this impairment are cataracts, macular degeneration and glaucoma. Elders who invest time in eye care are more likely to spot the symptoms of these early on and get treatment in time, improving the chances of successful outcomes.
Signs & Symptoms:
When the lens inside the eye gets cloudy because of protein component that clumps together, you get decreased vision. This mass, called the cataract, can grow and make it harder for you to see as time goes on.
The early indications of cataract are inability to withstand bright light, and fuzzy vision. The patient may also have double vision and find it increasingly difficult to see in low light. Frequent changes in eyeglass prescription are another indicator of cataracts. Cataracts are often permanently treated with surgery.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD):
The part of the retina that allows for clear and sharp vision is called the macula. The macula degenerates with age, resulting in central vision loss. Typically, the loss of vision occurs slowly over a period of time and many elders may simply overlook this fact. In rare cases, sudden vision loss can occur.
AMD first makes itself felt in the form of shadowy areas appearing in the center of your vision. Fortunately, optometrists can identify the onset of AMD even before the symptoms make an appearance simply with a retinal exam. Clearly, regular eye exams by an experienced professional are a very good plan for elders who value vision in their retirement years.
When the pressure on the eye cavity increases, the optic nerve is at risk of permanent damage. The damage caused to the optic nerve is permanent and irreversible, but it is possible to stop the progression of the disease if it is detected early on through a glaucoma test. Most optometrists offer a comprehensive eye vision test, including a glaucoma test, when an elderly patient complains about their vision.
Symptoms of glaucoma include deterioration of peripheral vision or side vision, blurred vision, eye pain and pain in the surrounding areas, appearance of haloes around lightened objects, and headaches. These symptoms may disappear after a couple of hours and make an appearance later on, leading to confusion as to whether or not they are serious vision problems.