Aging And Your Vision -- When Your Eyes Won't Have It

Posted on: 21 December 2016

The population of the United States is graying rapidly. As are their eyes. Unfortunately, as your eyes age, your vision can change, and you can also become more susceptible to certain conditions that can make it harder to see. So what should you do as you age to make sure that you can see clearly into the future? 

Keep an "Eye" on Your Prescription

Your vision may have stayed the same for years, even possibly for your whole life. But as you age, your prescription may abruptly change. It's especially common for your reading vision to worsen once you're past the age of 40.

So if you've noticed that you're suddenly having difficulty seeing as well as you had in the past, it's time to have your prescription checked. This is important even if you are living on a fixed income. Although new glasses can be expensive, there are outlets that sell affordable pairs.

As you age, you may also discover that you have more difficulty dealing with glare. Headlights coming towards you at night or even the sun reflecting off of the pavement during the day can make it hard for you to see. This occurs because as your eyes age, changes occur that can cause the light entering your retina to become scattered. The result? More glare and more difficulty seeing, especially while driving. If this has become a significant problem, you may want to talk to your optometrist or ophthalmologist to see if you might need glasses with anti-glare, anti-reflective coatings. 

Keep an "Eye" on Potential Issues

Of course, it's not just your prescription that can be affected as you age. If you're a senior, you should also be aware of the following conditions that could adversely affect your eyes. 

Dry Eyes: According to NIH Senior Health, approximately five million people living in the United States who are 50 years of age or older suffer with dry eyes. It is especially common in women who have gone through menopause. Your eye care professional may prescribe special eye drops or recommend the use of a home humidifier. If you find that your eyes have been drying out and you are a contact lenses wearer, you may also want to consider switching to glasses. Contacts worn over dry eyes can be very uncomfortable. 

Glaucoma: Glaucoma is a silent, dangerous condition. In fact, most people never even realize that they have glaucoma as it has few symptoms. But without treatment, this condition could slowly rob you of your vision. That is why if you are 40 years of age or older, it is important to be tested for this buildup of pressure in the eyes on an annual basis. If caught in the early stages, glaucoma can be treated with prescription eye drops. For more advanced cases, surgery or lasers may be necessary. 

Cataracts: If you've noticed that your eyes appear cloudy or that your vision has become blurry or that your night vision has worsened, you may have cataracts. Some cataracts will stay small and can be treated with non-surgical options, such as a new glasses prescription. More advanced cases, however, may require surgery. 

Other Warning Signs: And if you notice any of the following symptoms, you should see an eye care professional as soon as possible:

  • Blurry or cloudy vision
  • Flashes of lights
  • Feeling as if a curtain has been pulled over your eyes
  • Pain in the eye

These can all be signs of a serious eye issue, such as retinal detachment. 

To learn more about these issues, contact local eye clinics. They can update your prescriptions, test your eyes for potential issues, and fit you with women's and men's affordable eyeglasses.