What are the common age-related eye problems?

What are the common age-related eye problems?

Eyes are our windows to the world, and we depend on them for nearly everything we do. Usually, eye problems become more common with age. But there are some steps which you can take to cut your chance of sight-threatening complications. And luckily, there have never been more operative treatments to preserve your sight.

The aging effects are barely limited to gray hair, wrinkles, and creaky knees. Just ponder the plethora of age-related disorders which can affect your eyes, counting cataracts, age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) and glaucoma.

You have the eyeball surface at the front of the eye. It is made up of several layers, and the lens, which lets you focus images on the back of your eye. With age, your lens becomes less effective at focusing, accounting for the inevitable middle-age glasses. The retina is present on the inner surface of the eyeball which is packed with light-detecting cells.

The following are the age-related eye conditions which can lead to vision loss and blindness. Further, they may have few or no early symptoms.

Cataracts

Possibly cataract is the best-known lens problem, where the generally clear lens of your eye becomes cloudy. This means that you are looking through frosted glass, so the gradual vision loss can’t be corrected with eyeglasses. If left untreated, it can lead to vision impairment, vision loss, and even blindness.

It develops slowly and can affect one or both eyes, and they can progress contrarily in each as well. One eye may be worse than the other, for instance.

Its symptoms may comprise faded colors, halos around light, blurry vision, trouble with bright lights, and trouble seeing at night. Around 1 in 3 over-65s of both sexes have cataracts. Luckily, a simple day-case process under local anesthetic allows your eye surgeon to replace the lens, typically with success.

Glaucoma

It is a group of eye conditions which damage the optic nerve, the health of which is important for good vision. Often, this damage is caused by unusually high pressure in your eye. Moreover, glaucoma is one of the leading causes of impaired vision for people over the age of 60.

The eyeball is full of nutritious fluid called aqueous humour. It is continuously topped up, with the excess drained away through a meshwork at the front of your eye. The pressure inside your eyes is raised if you have glaucoma.

This is because of a mismatch between the amounts of fluid being produced and naturally removed. If left untreated, this pressure build-up can damage your optic nerve. Thus, leading to a gradual loss of vision. When you get symptoms, you can have noteworthy permanent complications.

Sometimes the fluid discharge gets totally blocked, leading to the painful red eye of acute glaucoma. This can lead to permanent vision loss without emergency treatment. Fortunately, damage can almost always be avoided with early diagnosis and regular treatment.

Macular degeneration

Another common eye problem is age-related macular degeneration or ARMD. The macula is a small area of retina having the highest proportion of light-detecting cells for seeing fine aspect.

This area can become less efficient with age. Thus, making ARMD the most common reason for sight loss in over-50s. But, it does not cause complete loss of vision.

Basically, there are two kinds of ARMD. Around 9 in 10 individuals have the ‘dry’ variety, that can’t be treated but tends to progress more slowly. The ‘wet’ kind can cause vision loss more rapid but can be treated with eye injections under local anesthetic.

High blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol, having a light eye color, female, and obesity are some risk factors for macular degeneration. Furthermore, macular degeneration may be hereditary.

Protection is essential

Protection of your eyes is essential, even if you don’t have any symptom. Studies show that proper diet is essential to help maintain the health of an eye. Also, protect your eyes from too much sunlight by wearing sunglasses. Moreover, be physically active and maintain a healthy weight.

Smoking increases your risk of cataract and ARMD, so it’s one more reason not to do it. Keeping your blood pressure under control will also reduce your risk of eye problems. So will a balanced diet, with plenty of fruit and vegetables. And certainly, these same measures will also protect your heart and cut the risk of stroke – what’s not to like!

 

 

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The author is a Medical Microbiologist and a healthcare writer. She is a post-graduate of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. She covers all content on health and wellness including weight loss, nutrition, and general health.

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