Age-Related Vision Loss
Age-related vision loss happens to many people as they grow older. Eye problems are not something you should think of as Normal. Some problems stem from worsening vision disorders. As you get older, these might happen gradually. Others happen suddenly, leading to vision loss. That is why regular exams with an eye doctor are so important.
Vision loss among the elderly is a major health care problem. Approximately one person in three has some form of vision-reducing eye disease by the age of 65. Age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy are the most common causes of vision loss in the elderly.
Age-related macular degeneration is characterized by the loss of central vision. Optic nerve and visual field damage result from primary open-angle glaucoma. Regular screening exams are recommended for elderly patients since this condition may initially be asymptomatic.
Symptoms of Age-related Vision Loss
- Double vision or blurry vision
- Seeing flashes of light
- Seeing halos or rainbows around lights
- Seeing what looks like a curtain coming down over one eye
- A sudden decrease in vision or total vision loss
- Sudden sensitivity to light and glare
- Eye pain, itching, or burning in the eye
- Eye redness or white areas in the pupil
- Changes in the color of your eye
The Five Causes and Risk Factors of Age-related Vision Loss
- Uncorrected refractive errors. Myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism, can cause severe visual impairment. Refractive errors can sometimes go unnoticed or uncorrected, often in children where they do not recognize that something is wrong.
- Cataracts. It affects people over 65 years but it is also a common side effect of conditions such as diabetes.
- Age-related macular degeneration. It is a painless condition that leads to loss of central vision as the macula in your retina begins to deteriorate.
- Glaucoma. It is a result of a build-up of fluid and pressure in your eye. A regular eye examination will pick up signs of glaucoma and measures intraocular pressure.
- Diabetic retinopathy. If you suffer from diabetes, you are at a higher risk of developing problems with your vision due to diabetic retinopathy. It is due to the loss of blood vessels in the eye that is damaged by high blood glucose levels.
How to Diagnose Age-related Vision Loss?
Doctors may conduct an eye examination by shining a light in a person’s eyes or ask them to read the letters on a chart to measure their vision. Diagnosis may also include a neurological examination to test the function of the eyes and brain.
Treatment for Age-related Vision Loss
Many conditions that cause vision loss are not curable. But, are treatment options that can slow the progression of the disease and preserve your sight for longer. To help you see better after the vision loss has occurred, your eye doctor can prescribe a stronger prescription. You can also use any of the following eye care products: