There are all kinds of changes that occur as the years pass, some we need to monitor more than others. Besides greying hair and wrinkling skin, there are many health worries tied to aging; one of the most important areas for concern is your eyesight.
Eye problems and diseases in aging adults generally occur after the age of 50. If caught early, vision problems in older adults do not have to affect your life and you can continue to see all the world has to offer! As long as you know the warning signs of age related eye problems, you can prevent damage from stealing your vision. If you’re over the age of 50 and are concerned about maintaining your eye health, here are eight of the most common eyes problems and diseases. The more you know and understand about them, the more preventative measures you can take to keep your vision strong and clear.
Presbyopia can often be treated with corrective lenses, so don’t worry – you won’t require intense surgery or medications. Without corrective lenses, though, those with presbyopia may experience headaches, eye strain and a decrease in focus.
An ophthalmologist can diagnose presbyopia through a regular eye exam, unfortunately, there are no known prevention methods in the case of presbyopia. Corrective lenses are an effective means to maintain proper focus, so you don’t have to sacrifice doing the things you love.
Although glaucoma caused by an increase in eye pressure is the most common form, there are also low-tension and normal-tension glaucoma which can occur without the eye pressure. However, these two are less common.
As an age related eye problem, glaucoma usually affects those over 50, so your age definitely puts you at risk. Furthermore, if you have a family history of glaucoma you should be more inclined to get your eyes checked regularly.
Treatment of glaucoma can range from medications to surgery, all depending on when it is diagnosed.
Related reading: Natural remedies for glaucoma
In a healthy eye, light passes through the lens to the retina. When it reaches the retina, it is changed into nerve signals, which are sent to the brain. In an eye with cataracts, the light cannot reach the retina because it is not clear. So when the nerve signal is sent to the brain, it appears blurry or cloudy.
There are different forms of cataracts, such as:
Cataracts can occur in just about anyone, but after 50 they begin to impair vision. Other risk factors include having a pre-existing medical condition like diabetes, smoking and alcohol use or overexposure to sunlight.
If you’re looking to avoid cataracts, always wear protective eye gear when heading outdoors. Also, limiting your alcohol and quitting smoking can make a difference.
Related reading: Cloudy vision: How to prevent cataracts naturally
Age related macular degeneration is most commonly found among Caucasians, smokers and those who have a family history of AMD. Making healthy choices is a good way to reduce your risk of developing AMD. Quitting smoking, enjoying a diet of leafy greens and fish, and keeping physically active on a regular basis are all recommended when protecting your vision against AMD.
Here are some of the symptoms of temporal arteritis:
Again, eating a balanced diet as well as exercise may be helpful when preventing temporal arteritis.
If you have pink eye, ensure you continuously wash your hands and avoid touching the infected eye(s) or other people. Prevention of pink eye also involves the constant cleaning of your hands and not overly touching your eyes if you don’t have to. Changing pillowcases and using new makeup brushes can also help prevent pink eye.
Related reading: Conjunctivitis: Know about Pink eye
Besides being an age-related eye problem, floaters can also be caused by inflammation at the back of the eye, bleeding in the eye and a torn retina. Other factors which may increase the likelihood of floaters are diabetic retinopathy, eye trauma and eye inflammation.
Symptoms of dry eyes include:
Dry eyes can develop as a side effect to medications, be a result of a skin disease around the eyes, immune disorders, allergies, excess of deficiency in vitamins and infrequently blinking. Knowing the cause of your dry eyes will better help you find the right treatment.
Although dry eyes can affect any age group, it’s most commonly found among those 50 years and older. Blinking when looking at screens and using eye drops may help prevent dry eyes from occurring.
Related reading: Spring allergies? Natural solution for dry eyes
Although many of these eye problems are age related, steps can be taken to ensure they do not become severe and you do not lose your vision. Getting regular eye checkups can uncover any eye problems early enough so that treatment can be its most effective.
A lot of aspects change when we get older, but that doesn’t mean you have to lose your vision. Caring for your eyes is equally as important as caring for your body as a whole. So along with checking your blood pressure, monitoring your weight and eating right, keep tracking any changes to your eyes and see your eye doctor on a regular basis.