Caring for one's vision is vitally important at any age, but as you enter your senior years, there are a few age-related eye conditions that become more prevalent. This is why it is very important to schedule an eye exam on a semi-annual basis if you are a senior. For your basic knowledge and awareness, here are conditions that may affect your eye health as you age:
1. Vitreous Detachment
The term may sound frightening and ominous, although in many cases, this condition does not necessarily come with a risk of vision loss. Vitreous detachment refers to a detachment of a gel-like substance (known as the vitreous) from the retina of the eye. This condition occurs more frequently with age, as the gel tends to sag and pull away from the retina. Near sighted individuals also have a higher risk for this condition.
How does one know if they have experienced a vitreous detachment? Look for these common signs and symptoms: When a vitreous detachment occurs, an individual may see "floaters" in front of their eyes or from their peripheral vision. Floaters appear to look like dark threads or spots in the field of vision.
The floaters may become less noticeable over time, although they will not typically disappear altogether. You may notice the floaters when looking at a white background or bright light. Some individuals who have experienced a vitreous detachment may also experience flashes of light for a few hours after the initial detachment of the vitreous.
If you experience any of the above symptoms, it is important to have your eyes examined by an optometrist or ophthalmologist through resources like Absolute Vision Care. A digital eye exam performed with the use of high-tech equipment can give the doctor a close up look at the interior of your eyes and pinpoint any abnormalities. The important thing to remember is once you've experienced a vitreous detachment, you may have a risk of developing a retinal tear, as the vitreous gel tugs at the retina. Left untreated, a retinal tear may lead to retinal detachment which could result in vision loss. Your eye doctor can detect a retinal tar by performing a digital eye exam.
Although cataracts may occur at any age, they are most common as one ages. If you are a smoker or a diabetic, you may also have an increased risk. Because protein on the lens of the eye tends to bond together as one ages, the likelihood of developing cataracts increases.
Basically, a cataract of the eye occurs when the eye lens become cloudy and opaque from the protein forming a mass. This often leads to blurred vision. If you experience what feels like a film clouding your vision, you may have developed cataracts and should see your eye doctor for a professional opinion and treatment plan. This may include new prescription eye wear or cataract surgery to remove the damaged lens and replace it with an artificial lens.
Glaucoma is an age-related eye disease that happens to be a leading cause of vision loss. This disease causes increased pressure within the eye and may damage the optic nerve, which could lead to blindness if left untreated. Because there is often no early symptoms of open-angle glaucoma, it is important to receive routine eye examinations and have the eye doctor perform a simple pressure test to detect this disease.
4. Dry Eye Syndrome
As you age, the moisture and lubrication within your your eyes may begin to decrease. This leads to a condition known as chronic dry eye syndrome. Your affected eye or eyes may become extremely irritated and itchy, and if more severe cases, inflammation my also be present. Inflammation is often characterized by redness inside the eyes. If left untreated for a long period of time, you may develop damage to the surface of your eye.
Although there are many over-the-counter remedies for dry eyes, it is best to see your doctor if your symptoms don't improve. Prescription eye drops may be necessary to improve tear production and relieve the chronic dryness.
My name is Shawna Banks and this is a blog that focuses on health issues that affect women. I became interested in women's health when my sister began having medical problems. After her condition worsened, she went to see a doctor. After her diagnosis and successful treatment, I helped her research the different kinds of health conditions that are common in women. By becoming knowledgeable about these types of problems, we can keep ourselves healthier. I hope that when you read this blog, it will help you to identify symptoms that shouldn't be ignored. If necessary, you can schedule an appointment with your physician as soon as possible.