Here’s What May Happen to Your Eyes as You Age
- Posted on: Jan 15 2021
We all expect some changes to occur as we get older. We know we’ll see an increasing number of wrinkles with the passage of time. We know that our joints may ache a little more frequently and we may even expect to need eyeglasses to read labels. Looking at long-term vision and eye health, the picture is much bigger than many people assume. Age is the most prominent factor in eye diseases that are commonly diagnosed. For this reason, it is important to become aware of how the eyes change with age.
The risk of cataracts, macular degeneration, retinal detachment, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma increases the older we get. Fortunately, this risk can be managed with good habits and routine ophthalmic exams. If signs of an eye disease occur, they may be slowed or even reversed with proper care. With medical technology progressing all the time, we continue to hope for better outcomes in years to come. The more we know, the better we can do for ourselves and, in our case, for our patients.
How Vision may Change with Age
Vision changes that come with age aren’t always serious, fortunately. Some of the most common changes people notice include:
- Needing more light to see well. As we age, most of us need more light to see clearly. Increasing the brightness of lightbulbs in reading lamps is not uncommon.
- Sensitivity to glare. This light sensitivity may be especially noticeable when driving at night due to the reflection of streetlights and headlamps from oncoming traffic. To reduce the impact of glare sensitivity, some people wear polarized glasses when driving at night.
- Difficulty reading labels. You may have already begun noticing that it’s gotten harder to read labels and fine print. This is an indication of presbyopia, a loss of flexibility in the lens of the eye that results in a need for reading glasses or bifocals.
- Changes in color perception. This change also relates to the lens of the eye, which can become slightly discolored with age. The result may be a dulling of colors.
- Dry eye. The eyes rely on a healthy tear film to support comfort. A lack of tear production or imbalance in the tear film can result in a foreign body sensation in the eye, grittiness, excessive tearing, and other complaints.
There are several ways you can support eye health as you age. One is to live a healthy lifestyle that avoids smoking, wearing UV-blocking sunglasses on sunny days and, if you are at risk for eye diseases, taking an eye-health supplement. Of course, it is also essential that all adults see their ophthalmologist on a yearly basis.
We would love to see you into a healthy new year. Call our Canfield, Alliance, or North Canton office to schedule your yearly eye exam.
Posted in: Eye Exams