Leading a busy life is often the reason why you may skip or postpone any type of regular or preventative medical care appointments, including those associated with vision care. Those who have not previously had to wear corrective lenses or suffered from any known vision issues are often even more likely to neglect regular eye health checkups.
As aging occurs, however, changes in eye health can occur and begin to progress before a problem is suspected. If you are a senior who has neglected their eye care for the past few years, the following information will help you understand some of the most common eye health problems related to aging.
The part of the retina that helps you to see vivid details clearly is the macula. As you age, the macula often begins to thin and macular degeneration occurs. At first, vision loss associated with macular degeneration will be minimal and relatively unnoticeable, but as the condition progresses, vision loss escalates and the patient begins to notice the negative impact of diminished vision during normal daily activities.
Another eye health issue that is commonly associated with aging is glaucoma. This eye condition results from damage to the optic nerve that interferes with vision. Since vision loss from advanced glaucoma cannot be reversed, regular eye appointments to help with early detection are recommended by eye care professionals.
Early symptoms of glaucoma can include vision changes, such as blurriness or distortion, diminished peripheral vision, headaches, eye pain, or strain in one or both eyes. Since the initial symptoms can be slight, patients may have developed glaucoma months or years before they are made aware of it.
Clouding that occurs on the lens of the eye is usually due to an eye health condition known as cataracts. The accumulation of protein molecules causes the lens to become cloudy as a cataract develops. As the clouding worsens, blurred vision and noticeable changes in clarity arise, especially in low light situations.
When cataracts are pronounced, patients may even experience coordination and mobility issues, due to their inability to see clearly while walking or doing tasks. Early symptoms of cataracts can include visible changes to the eye, sensitivity to light, double vision, and seeing a halo effect when attempting to focus.
While some age-related vision health issues may be irreversible, most can be effectively managed if detected early, before major vision loss has occurred. Seniors who have been remiss in having regular eye health care appointments can begin the process of protecting their vision by scheduling an appointment with an optometrist in their area.
For more information about how optometry can improve your vision as you age, reach out to a local optometrist.