Taking care of your vision as you age
Just as our physical strength decreases with age, our eyes also exhibit an age-related decline in performance, particularly as we reach our 60’s and beyond.
Some age-related eye changes are perfectly normal, but others may signal a disease process. It’s important to recognize signs and symptoms, and perhaps even more important to mitigate the effects of aging with some simple and common-sense strategies. Visit Dr. Gallo and Associates and see how we can help you see more clearly.
What can you do about
Age-Related Vision Changes?
A healthy diet and wise lifestyle choices, including exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing stress and not smoking, are your best natural defenses against vision loss as you age. Also, have regular eye exams with your optometrist.
Be sure to discuss with your Optometrist all concerns you have about your eyes and vision. Tell us about any history of eye problems in your family and any health problems you may have.
Also, let your eye doctor know about any medications you take, including non-prescription vitamins, herbs and supplements.
As we age, some will experience more serious age-related eye diseases that have greater potential for affecting our quality of life as we grow older. These conditions include glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy:
For a time, you can compensate for this decline in focusing ability by just holding reading material farther away from your eyes. But eventually, you’ll need reading glasses, multifocal contact lenses or multifocal eyeglasses.
Some corrective surgery options for presbyopia also are available.
Thankfully, modern cataract surgery is extremely safe and so effective that 100% of vision lost to cataract formation usually is restored. If you are noticing vision changes due to cataracts, don’t hesitate to discuss symptoms with your optometrist. It’s often better to have cataracts removed before they advance too far.
Also, multifocal lens implants are now available. These advanced intraocular lenses (IOLs) potentially can restore all ranges of vision, thus reducing your need for reading glasses as well as distance glasses after cataract surgery.
Reduced pupil size
Because of these changes, people in their 60s need three times more ambient light for comfortable reading than those in their 20s. Also, seniors are more likely to be dazzled by bright sunlight and glare when emerging from a dimly lit building such as a movie theater. Eyeglasses with photochromic lenses and anti-reflective coating can help reduce this problem.
Loss of peripheral vision
Because the loss of visual field increases the risk for automobile accidents, make sure you are more cautious when driving. To increase your range of vision, turn your head and look both ways when approaching intersections.
Decreased colour vision
This condition, called vitreous detachment, is usually harmless, but floaters and flashes of light can also signal the beginning of a retinal detachment, a serious problem that can cause blindness if not treated immediately. If you experience flashes and floaters, see your optometrist immediately to determine the cause.