Maintaining healthy eyes as we age
Maintaining healthy eyes as we age should be a priority, but most of us never think about getting older. Lots of us think we will never age, but “old man time” creeps up on us without making a sound. Suddenly you or your parents have become part of the senior generation. As you look in the mirror, well, you see that older version of yourself. When did THAT happen?
Getting older brings with it many physical changes, and changes to our vision are inevitable. Just like you or your parents can’t climb the stairs like before, it suddenly is more difficult to drive, read and see clearly.
Let’s review how our eyes change and how we can maintain healthy eyes as we age. There are precautions everyone can take to preserve good vision and prevent eye issues from becoming a kink in their lifestyle, no matter how old they are.
Cataracts and Aging
Seniors can expect to have a cataract in their lifetime. The good news is technology has evolved so no one needs to compromise their active senior lifestyle just because they have a cataract. A cataract forms as the clear lens inside our eye become cloudy and yellow with age. Where our vision was once clear and vivid, now a cataract makes it cloudy and dim. Our vision is limited and only removing the cataract will correct the problem
If you are experiencing:
- Difficulty with night driving
- Problematic glare
- Frequent changes to your eye glasses prescriptions with no improvement
- Blurry or dim vision
- Make an appointment to find out if laser cataract surgery is the solution.
Eye Diseases as We Age
There are some serious eye diseases that can occur as we age. Glaucoma is a very serious eye disease which is particularly devious because there are no apparent symptoms until vision is already compromised. This disease of the optic nerve can only be detected with a comprehensive eye exam. The earliest noticeable symptom is loss of peripheral vision, and once that is lost, it cannot be reversed. Early diagnosis and treatment can slow down its progression, but there is no cure. If patients have a family history of glaucoma, they are more susceptible to this disease and should have regular examinations to catch it in its very earliest stages.
Diabetes and high blood pressure affect vision and must be controlled for maintaining eye health as we age. These conditions attack the retina and macula and can result in a serious condition known as diabetic retinopathy.
Visual Complications as We Age
With aging comes pesky conditions like dry eyes, low vision, difficulty driving at dusk and nighttime, and even problems judging distances. None of these issues necessarily need to interfere with your active lifestyle if you are in the care of an experienced eye health professional.
The Best Defense- Regular Eye Checks
Eye diseases like glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration can develop as we age. Because many such diseases have hidden symptoms, regular comprehensive eye exams are the only defense for maintaining healthy eyes as we age.
About the Author
Dr. Christoph Kranemann
Medical Director MD, FRCS (c), DABO, Ophthalmologist
As one of North America’s leading Lasik eye surgeons. Dr. Kranemann’s goal is to understand exactly what patients want from their vision. With this information, Dr. Kranemann can provide the most advanced vision correction option available to meet your lifestyle goals.