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Health & Medicine

Common age related eye problems

eye

What is common age releted eye problems?

Common age-related eye problems include presbyopia, glaucoma, dry eyes, age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and temporal arteritis. Age sometimes brings changes that weaken your vision and eyes, but there are things you can do to maintain lifelong eye and overall health. The solution may be as simple as using brighter lights around the house to help prevent accidents caused by weak eyesight or seeing your doctor more frequently to screen for age-related diseases.

Presbyopia

As people age, the lens becomes harder and less elastic, making it more difficult for the eye to focus on close objects. For centuries presbyopia was corrected with the use of bifocal eyeglasses. Today there are many ways to correct presbyopia with eyeglasses, contact lenses and surgery. Presbyopia is caused by a hardening of the lens of your eye, which occurs with aging. As your lens becomes less flexible, it can no longer change shape to focus on close-up images. As a result, these images appear out of focus.

Floaters

Most floaters are small flecks of a protein called collagen. They’re part of a gel-like substance in the back of your eye called the vitreous. As you age, the protein fibers that make up the vitreous shrink down to little shreds that clump together. The shadows they cast on your retina are floaters. Most eye floaters are caused by age-related changes that occur as the jelly-like substance (vitreous) inside your eyes becomes more liquid. Microscopic fibers within the vitreous tend to clump and can cast tiny shadows on your retina. The shadows you see are called floaters.

Dry eyes

The most common symptoms of dry eye syndrome are burning, pain, and redness in the eyes. Other common symptoms include watery tearing or stringy mucus in the eyes. You may find that your eyes get tired faster than they used to or that you have difficulty reading or sitting at the computer for long periods. The most common symptoms of dry eye syndrome are burning, pain, and redness in the eyes. Other common symptoms include watery tearing or stringy mucus in the eyes. You may find that your eyes get tired faster than they used to or that you have difficulty reading or sitting at the computer for long periods.

Tearing

Watering eye, epiphora or tearing, is a condition in which there is an overflow of tears onto the face, often without a clear explanation. There is insufficient tear film drainage from the eye or eyes. Instead of the tears draining through the nasolacrimal system, they overflow onto the face. Antihistamine pills and liquids work by blocking histamine to relieve wateryitchy eyes. They include cetirizine (Zyrtec), diphenhydramine (Benadryl), fexofenadine (Allegra), or loratadine (Alavert, Claritin), among others.

cataract

A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of your eye. For people who have cataracts, seeing through cloudy lenses is a bit like looking through a frosty or fogged-up window. Clouded vision caused by cataracts can make it more difficult to read, drive a car (especially at night) or see the expression on a friend’s face. Most cataracts develop slowly and don’t disturb your eyesight early on. But with time, cataracts will eventually interfere with your vision. At first, stronger lighting and eyeglasses can help you deal with cataracts. But if impaired vision interferes with your usual activities, you might need cataract surgery. Fortunately, cataract surgery is generally a safe, effective procedure.

Glaucoma

It is usually related to increased pressure inside the eye. If it is not treated, this condition can lead to permanent vision loss and blindness. Heredity is a significant risk factor for glaucoma, as is age, race, diabetes, and some medications. Glaucoma is less commonly caused by other factors such as a blunt object or chemical injury to the eye, severe eye infection, blockage of blood vessels, inflammatory disorders of the eye, and occasionally by corrective eye surgery. Most people with glaucoma have no early symptoms or pain from increased pressure. To detect glaucoma, the eye doctor will examine your eyes to assess the appearance of the optic nerve, measure the eye pressure and test the visual field. Also some people can have damage to the eye from glaucoma, even with normal pressure in the eye. Treatment may include prescription eye drops, oral medications, laser treatment, or surgery.

Low-vision aids

Many people with sight complications find low-vision aids helpful. These are special devices that are stronger than regular eyeglasses. Low vision aids include telescopic glasses, lenses that filter light, and magnifying glasses. There are also some useful electronic devices that you can either hold in your hand or put directly on your reading material. E-Books, iPads® and similar electronic devices often can be adjusted to provide large dark fonts and are helpful for many patients with moderate impairments. Some people with only partial sight are able to increase their vision significantly by using these devices. Whether or not you have an age-related sight condition, there are simple things you can do to help improve your vision and maintain good eye health. See your eye health care provider more frequently for screenings, and take special precautions if you have diabetes or a family history of eye disease.

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