A declining vision is often associated with age. While there is a truth to this claim, most eye experts believe that getting a good eyesight is now possible as people begin to age with the proper precaution and eye care. Most of the time, whenever people start experiencing the symptoms of tiredness of the eyes and other visual problems, it is easy to surmise that it is because of the ill fate of our age that results in a declining vision. An understanding about how our vision works and how aging contributes to the process of a declining vision will provide us a better insight on how we can preserve a good eye sight or at least delay the effects of aging that prevents us from enjoying quality eyesight as we age.
Visual changes with aging
Visual changes naturally occur as a person ages. Significant visual changes take place every ten years and there are things that you can do in order to preserve or at least delay its deterioration when this happens.
1. Visual changes in the 20's and 30's
As we reach the age between 20 and 30, eye problems may begin to surface. They are managed with an eyeglass prescription or contact lens to correct your visual changes. At this age, you can still prevent the progression of visual problems and prevention is the key in preserving the quality of your eyesight. Frequent visits to your optometrist will help you preserve the health of your eye. A regular eye examination will help detect potential problems that may arise and it may be prevented with proper medication. You should also protect your eyes against harmful radicals like smoke and UV rays which are common culprits in the development of macular degeneration. Because at this age, individuals are career oriented and are likely to be exposed to work hazards that are harmful to the eyes like prolonged exposure to the computer that can result in eyestrain and other eye problems. Wear protective glasses that will help avoid straining the eyes too much when doing certain activities that keep the eye active.
2. Visual changes in the 40's
Upon reaching the age of 40, visual changes naturally occur. Preventive measures against a declining vision may , however, delay the onset of visual decline upon reaching the age of 40. Presbyopia usually takes place at this age, which is a condition of losing the ability to focus owing to the hardening of the eye lenses. Reading at this age becomes harder. You can reduce the impact of presbyopia at this age by adjusting the distance between the eye and the reading material in order to compensate for a better vision. You should also ask the help of an eye doctor to obtain proper corrective glasses to reduce the burden on your eyes when reading and to generally improve your vision.
3. Visual changes in the 50's
By the time you reach the age of 50, common eye diseases may start to surface like cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration. You will need the help of an optometrist in order to provide you corrective glasses that will help improve your eyesight. Macular degeneration is not treatable but it can be prevented by taking vitamins and healthy eating habits. Eating foods rich in lutein and antioxidants can prevent the disease from occurring with age.
4. Visual changes in the 60's
It is in this age that cataracts are very common because it is a normal aging process occurring in the eyes. Cataracts produces protein molecules that can grow in clumps, blocking vision and prevents the light from coming through. In certain cases, cataracts may require surgery, especially when it produces significant block on the vision. A yearly check up of cataracts is necessary which is also beneficial in getting a regular eye examination for other eye diseases.
Structural changes in the eye with aging
Aging can cause subtle changes in the eye structures which also contribute to the visual changes occurring with age.
- The pupil size becomes smaller with age because of the weakness of the eye muscles. These muscles are responsible for controlling the size of the pupils and its reaction to the light. With aging, these eye muscles weaken, making the eyes to become less responsive to light.
- Retinal sensitivity decreases with aging, which results in color visual problems.
- Reduced production of tears by the lacrimal glands occurs with aging. As a result, dry eye becomes common which can produce the symptoms of burning, and stinging and other discomforts that are associated with a dry eye. This condition becomes more common among women who are in their menopausal age. Artificial tears can help relieve the discomforts of dry eyes.
- Vitreous detachment takes place with aging which is a harmless eye condition that involves the detachment of the gel-like vitreous liquefying in the eyes that produce spots and floaters in the vision.
- Decreasing visual fields are also common with aging, which results in the loss of peripheral vision.
Common eye diseases occurring with age
There are different eye diseases that occur with age. Some of these are serious effects of aging while other eye problems are manageable and easily managed with corrective eye glasses.
- Macular degeneration
This can be a serious eye disease occurring with age. Macular degeneration is a common cause of blindness among the older population and individuals in their 60's are highly susceptible to macular degeneration.
- Diabetic retinopathy
Individuals in their 40's are likely to become susceptible to diabetic retinopathy. This eye condition affects about 30% of diabetics, although many have the condition without getting a proper diagnosis.
The risk of getting glaucoma is about 1% upon reaching the age of 40 and it increases with age.
The condition makes focusing on an object more difficult because of the hardening of the eye lenses. It is a common eye disease among individuals in their 40's but can be managed with corrective eyeglasses and multi-focal contact lenses.
This is an age related eye disorder that can be treated with surgery or getting treatment using multi-focal lens implants or intraocular lenses to improve vision.
Taking care of your eyes against age related eye diseases
While aging is not a reversible process, there are ways to avoid, delay and prevent common age related eye diseases. The best natural defense against getting a poor eyesight and developing visual problems is to eat a healthy diet, such as eating foods that are rich in lutein. Wise lifestyle choices will also delay the common eye diseases. Take care of your eyes and do not abuse its use. Using protective glasses when using the computer for long hours can help eye muscle strains that can accelerate the occurrence of age related eye disorders.
A regular visit to your doctor will also be a prudent step in taking care of your eyes. Make sure to make an appointment with your optometrist or ophthalmologist annually to keep your eyes healthy. Discuss with your doctor any concerns that you may have concerning your eyes. Early detection of any eye diseases is the key in preventing its progression and an early treatment can prevent some serious effects on your vision as you age.
Click here to learn more about keeping your eye vision healthy.