As you age, it's normal for changes to occur in your eyes. Cells can break down, the vitreous gel in your eyes may become more watery and proteins in your eyes can cluster together and impact your vision. Additionally, some health conditions that you're more prone to developing as you age, such as diabetes and some types of arthritis, can impact on your eye health. Having regular eye tests can allow eye problems to be diagnosed early, which can minimise the damage to your vision and help you maintain your independence. Here's an overview of 3 eye conditions older adults are susceptible to.
Glaucoma can occur due to increased pressure within the eye when inflammation is present or when a build-up of fluid develops. This increase in pressure can damage the optic nerve at the back of the eye, which can lead to loss of vision. Common symptoms of glaucoma include loss of peripheral vision and blurred vision, but symptoms don't often appear right away. Glaucoma is often diagnosed during an eye test before a person notices any symptoms. Treatment for this condition can involve medication to control eye pressure or surgery to release excess fluid from the eye.
A cataract occurs when protein in the lens clumps together and creates an opaque layer over the normally transparent lens. This clouding of the lens can severely impact your vision, and you may experience total loss of vision if a cataract is left untreated. Symptoms of cataracts include fuzzy vision, doubled vision and light sensitivity. Surgical removal of the damaged lens is the only way to treat this condition, and the lens can be replaced with a donor lens or an artificial lens.
Macular degeneration occurs when the centre of the retina, known as the macula, becomes damaged. This affects focus and leads to your central vision becoming diminished. Symptoms of macular degeneration include blurred vision, difficulty seeing details and a reduction in the perception of colour. Damage to the macula cannot be undone, so treatment focuses on preventing further damage. Treatment may include laser surgery or anti-angiogenic drugs, which prevent leakage from abnormal macula cells and prevent further abnormal cells from developing.
These are just a few examples of eye conditions that you're at an increased risk of developing as you age. Protecting your eye health should be a priority as you age, so if you have any concerns about your vision, or if you haven't had an eye test in the last year or so, contact an optometrist.Share