The effects of aging include more than gray hair, achy knees, and wrinkles. Your vision and eyes will also change as you age. Consider the number of age- and vision-related conditions that can affect your eyes. These include age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma. Although these conditions are more common in adults over 50, their appearance is not inevitable.
People age differently. An abundance of evidence suggests that keeping yourself healthy as you age will decrease the effects or occurrence of age-related eye conditions. That is why eye doctors recommend that all adults undergo regular comprehensive eye exams. The results obtained serve as a benchmark to track eye changes in the coming years. Some of the ways your eyes may change as you age include:
Cataracts develop when proteins in the eye’s lens accumulate on the surface. That causes the naturally transparent lens to become opaquer, leading to blurred or cloudy vision. Cataracts typically form from age 40 and continue to develop gradually.
As they develop, they will affect your distance vision, causing images to appear blurry. Your lens will start turning yellow or brown as the cataracts progress, leading to difficulty distinguishing shades of color. The condition can lead to total vision loss if left untreated. Fortunately, cataract surgery is generally safe and effective.
Ptosis is an eye condition characterized by a drooping upper eyelid on one or both eyes. The severity will determine whether it will affect your vision. In severe cases, the eyelid droop may cover the pupil and block your vision. In less severe cases, the drooping is hardly noticeable.
Your risk of developing various eye conditions will increase as you age. The most common include wet and dry age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and other macular diseases.
Many of these conditions do not present noticeable symptoms until the later stages when there is ocular damage. To protect your eyes from such vision-threatening conditions, eye care professionals recommend regular comprehensive eye exams.
As you age, your eye’s lens begins to lose its flexibility and ability to focus on near objects. That results in blurred near vision. Presbyopia is age-related nearsightedness. People with presbyopia require corrective eyewear for near-vision tasks like texting, reading, computer use, and knitting. Some require multifocal lenses with different powers or distances and intermediate and near vision requirements.
As you age, the retinal cells responsible for color perception may diminish. That can cause colors to appear less vibrant and make it difficult to distinguish between colors. While this condition generally results from aging, it can also be a symptom of eye disease. Thus, adults should keep up with their regular eye exams to monitor and protect their vision and eye health.
Routine eye exams are essential for your vision and eye health as you age. They help eye doctors detect most eyesight-threatening eye diseases before symptoms appear. Your eye doctor will examine your eyes to ensure they remain healthy and your vision good as you age.
For more information on age-related eye changes or to schedule an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam, contact Kopolow & Girisgen Doctors of Optometry at our offices in Las Vegas or Henderson, Nevada. Call (702) 452-2020 or (702) 341-7254 to schedule an appointment today.