Just as our physical strength decreases with age, our eyes also exhibit an age-related decline in performance — particularly as we reach our 60s and beyond.
Some age-related eye changes, such as presbyopia, are perfectly normal and don't signify any sort of disease process. While cataracts can be considered an age-related disease, they are extremely common among seniors and can be readily corrected with cataract surgery.
Some of us, however, 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.
Issue: You can’t escape presbyopia (difficulty with near vision focus).
What to Do: Have routine eye exams at least every 2 years, and explore vision correction options.
Issue: Be aware of increased risk of dry eye and computer vision syndrome.
What to Do: Eat a healthy diet high in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.
Issue: Risks increase for cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration (AMD).
What to Do: Having routine eye exams.
Issue: Presbyopia becomes more advanced.
What to Do: Multiple eyewear solutions might be needed for presbyopia at this age.
Issue: Risk of dry eye increases for women after menopause.
What to Do: Tell your eye doctor about medications (some can cause visual side effects, including dry eye).
Issue: Risk increase for common age-related eye diseases (see 50s above).
What to Do: Besides regular eye exams, have annual physicals to identify underlying conditions such as diabetes that might cause eye problems.
Issue: Ability to see in low lighting decreases.
What to Do: Use brighter lights for reading. Allow more time to adjust to changing light conditions.
Issue: Age-related eye changes cause visual disturbances as spots and floaters.
What to Do: If eye floaters appear suddenly, see your doctor immediately (this might be a retinal detachment).
70S AND 80S
Issue: Most people in this age group already have or will develop cataracts.
What to Do: Cataract surgery is the only option for correcting cataracts.
Issue: Colour vision declines and visual fields begin to narrow.
What to Do: Ask your eye doctor about eyewear or lenses for increasing contrast vision. Use extra caution while driving.
Many older people don’t realize how untreated, age-related eye changes can harm vision and, eventually, their entire quality of life. In my practice, I sometimes see the unfortunate results of what happens when an older person waits too long for an eye exam.
A delay of even a few years can make the difference between normal vision and going blind. While some eye conditions can be pretty obvious, others may sneak up on you. Book an eye exam today.
Adults and teens should have their eyes checked at least once every 2 years and those over 40 should have a yearly exam. Many kids start needing prescription eyewear in their teens, mainly because this is a prime time for the development of nearsightedness. However, if you experience vision problems, your optometrist might recommend more frequent examinations.
Preventative eye care is important to you and your family’s eye health to:
An estimated 2.7 million eye injuries occur in the North America each year, and nearly 1 million have lost some degree of eyesight due to an eye injury, according to Prevent Blindness America.
Experts agree that more than 90% of these injuries could be prevented with simple precautions, including wearing safety glasses or protective goggles.
Sports eyewear is essential gear when you are playing sports and enjoying other activities where there is potential for eye injuries. The right eyewear may actually improve your sports performance, and you will be reducing your risk of eye injuries at the same time.
Optiko Eyewear carries a good selection of safety and sports eyewear.
By early monitoring and correcting of vision deficiencies, you may invest a lifetime of greater vision and a better quality of life. Most will agree how precious sight is. Your eyes are crucial to keep healthy as they are constantly working as they take in the world around you – allowing you to know what is going on outside your body.