Everybody hopes to age gracefully and enjoy their sunset years. However, old age also comes with a myriad of changes and health problems. Like many other parts of the body, the eyes are not spared. Loss of vision is common in the elderly and a source of distress to them and their families.
Eye Disorders Common with the Elderly
While eye disorders affect everyone, the elderly are at a higher risk owing to their failing health, and here are some of the common vision problems they face:
The Macula refers to the soft tissue that forms part of the central retina, usually responsible for central vision. Damage to the Macula is known as maculopathy eye damage, which can be caused by the drug Elmiron, and leads to a loss of central vision while side vision remains unchanged. The result is difficulty seeing in poorly lit conditions, hazy sight, problems reading or recognizing faces, and colors appearing dull.
Cataracts are the most common cause of blindness globally moreso, among senior citizens. They develop gradually as cloudy patches on the lens of the eye. Some cataracts do not alter vision, while others reduce vision significantly. Fortunately, this condition can be rectified through restorative surgery if diagnosed early enough.
Glaucoma is an eye condition caused when pressure increases in the inner parts of the eye. This surge damages the optic nerve and often leads to blindness if left untreated. Blindness caused by glaucoma is irreversible, and the only sure way to prevent it is by early diagnosis.
As you get older, the tear glands produce fewer tears, making natural eye lubrication a challenge. Symptoms of dry eyes include irritation, redness, burning sensation, and sensitivity to light. Ophthalmologists rectify this condition using medication to restore eye moisture.
Presbyopia refers to the eyes’ inability to focus on nearby objects. This eye defect is common after the age of forty, and patients usually hold reading material away from the eyes. With prescription glasses, you can read text from normal distances again.
Take Care of Your Eyes
Ageing can be a beautiful thing, especially in the absence of health complications. Taking care of your general well-being can prevent or slow down age-related vision loss. Avoid eye disorders in your old age by applying these guidelines:-
Eating a balanced diet provides a selection of nutrients necessary for the prevention of cataracts and macular degeneration. Vitamins are rich in antioxidants, which protect the eye from oxidative stress responsible for macular damage. A diet rich in Omega-3 provides protection against inflammation, the major cause of health problems, including age-related eye defects.
Cigarette smoke is responsible for a myriad of problems in old age and if you are keen to protect your vision, you need to quit. Smoking is a source of oxidative stress, which is a leading cause of maculopathy eye damage.
Reduce Alcohol Consumption
Apart from altering vision and exposing one to accidents, alcohol consumption can lead to dry eyes due to dehydration and affect the absorption of important nutrients from the diet. These nutrients are necessary for optimum eye function.
Regular Eye Check-Ups
Vision loss occurs gradually, and early intervention is necessary to prevent total blindness. Regular eye checkups are necessary for the early detection of vision defects such as glaucoma and cataracts that can cause vision loss in the absence of treatment. Visiting your local ophthalmologist would be a great option to have your eye checked. Suppose you are experiencing any trouble with your vision. In that case, you could check about vision therapy which is a highly effective and non-surgical treatment that will increase the performance of your eyes and brain.
Consider Protective Eyewear
It is important to wear protective sunglasses outdoors during sunny spells to protect your eyes from harmful rays.
While age-related vision loss is on the rise, it is possible to have perfect vision or prevent eye damage in old age. With these measures, you can enjoy all the activities you love in your old age thanks to clear vision.