As our bodies age, it is normal to notice that there are decreases in our ability to complete certain functions that may have been natural for us in our youth.
Several different factors influence how each of us will experience aging. Your genetics can play a pivotal role. Understanding your family history and making sure to communicate this with your health professional can be a great way to monitor changes and spot early signs and symptoms. While the eyes can often recover from traumatic injury or exposure, they may still have a detrimental effect on your vision as you age.
Knowing what age you start to have an increased risk of certain diseases or eye conditions can help you to be prepared when you meet with your optometrist. Here are some of the most common ailments that people experience when they age.
Once you are over 40 years old you may experience a loss in vision at close range. Presbyopia is a normal condition that occurs due to the hardening of the lens in your eye. In the early stages, you can often compensate for small changes to your vision, but as the condition progresses, you will need a corrective lens.
Cataracts are technically a disease of the eye. However, they are so frequently seen in patients as they age, that they are classified as a normal part of aging. While almost half of the population over 65 have cataracts, that number increases even more by age 70. While it can be frightening to begin losing your vision, cataract surgery is extremely successful and can restore up to 100% of the lost vision. If you notice even small changes to your vision, it is smart to talk to your optometrists. Cataract surgery is a quality-of-life decision.
This disease is the leading cause of blindness in senior citizens in the United States.
The risk of developing glaucoma generally begins when you are in your 40’s with increasing risk thereafter.
Individuals who have diabetes may be affected by diabetic retinopathy. This disease occurs when blood sugar levels are elevated for an extended period, causing retinal veins to leak. This damage may lead to permanent vision loss. Americans with diabetes over the age of 40 are at an increased risk, with about 40 percent of people with diabetes over this age displaying some degree of diabetic retinopathy.
Our bodies naturally decrease tear production as we age. This reduction can leave your eyes feeling dry. Fortunately, there are treatments to reduce the signs and symptoms of dry eye.
If you experience a change in your vision, it is important to see your optometrist to prevent additional or unwarranted damage to your eyes and vision.