Vision and Aging
Eyes often benefit from having more than one pair of prescription eyewear to meet special vision requirements. Your optometrist understands the special demands of aging and will offer specific recommendations so you can enjoy clear and comfortable vision.
As your golden years approach, it is especially important to make regular eye examinations part of your plan for maintaining good health and vision.
As you age, there are a few common conditions you and your optometrist need to look for. There’s nothing uncommon about noticing changes in your vision.
Here is a short list of the most common and troubling conditions:
Presbyopia is very common among this age group. It is the loss of ability to change focus from far to near. It is often the first wake-up call that our eyes “aren’t what they used to be”. The most common signs or symptoms include the tendency to hold reading materials at arm’s length, blurred vision at normal reading distance and eye fatigue when attempting to do close work.
Glaucoma can result when excessive fluid pressures damage the optic nerve. It is one of the leading causes of blindness in Canada. Glaucoma can be effectively treated with prescription eye drops, and in some cases, surgery may be required. A simple and painless procedure allows your optometrist to measure the internal pressures of your eye. Early detection is the key to success when fighting glaucoma. Most glaucomas offer no pain or symptoms. Cataracts are another common condition you may encounter.
Cataracts occur as the lens becomes cloudy, distorting our vision. Cataracts are most often found in persons over the age of 55, but can occur in younger people as well. This condition often requires a corrective lens change or surgical removal. After surgery, you, along with your Optometrist, can decide on the best type of vision correction for you.
Macular Degeneration is a disease that obscures a person’s central field of vision. It is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness for seniors in North America. Early detection is the key to managing the disease – that’s why yearly exams with your Optometrist are recommended.
The value of prevention… Health, nutrition and prevention are the keys to quality of life. Maintaining excellent general health can often delay and reduce the effects of aging on our eyes.
Even with the best preventative efforts, some changes in our vision should be expected. There is often a greater need to rely on glasses for tasks such as reading. Special filters and sunglasses can also help with problems associated with glare or light sensitivity. Extra lighting or special magnification may be helpful for people with reduced or low vision.
Several common health conditions, such as high blood pressure, arthritis and diabetes often require medications – some of which affect the eyes and vision. In their early stages, many conditions associated with aging may not cause symptoms or create problems, and therefore, can go undetected. Regular optometric care is vital.
Your optometrist understands the changes in your eyesight, the importance of early detection in eye disease and the implications of medications you may be taking. Annual eye health assessments are important to identify your individual needs, assist you in understanding your conditions, and allow your eye doctor to make specific recommendations for you.
Did You Know?
When it comes to your eyes and your vision, expect to experience some signs of aging as you near your 40th birthday. Now before you start feeling old before your time, relax.
Your optometrist will help you manage these natural changes in your vision, and monitor your eye health at the same time!
Optometrists are specially trained to help you as your eyes get older and can expertly prescribe eyewear that will allow you to maintain your best possible focus at any distance. You may need reading glasses, or some form of multi-focals, bi-focals, tri-focals or progressive lenses. Today’s eyewear is stylish, comfortable and easy to wear. There are even contact lenses available in multi-focal form for some prescriptions.