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5 Signs of Vision Problems as You Age

For seniors, eye health is a very important issue that shouldn’t be neglected. Age-related vision problems are very common but, if they are caught early, most can be treated with minimal effort. Regular eye exams are important at any age but for seniors, they are one of the best ways to avoid vision problems. If it’s been over a year since your last eye health and vision exam, you should schedule an appointment with your optometrist as soon as possible.

Being aware of certain warning signs may make it easier to maintain your eyesight as you grow older, especially if you notice a sudden flurry of symptoms. There are many different types of vision problems that can come on suddenly, like a detached retina or the rapid onset of glaucoma. In instances like these, emergency optometry attention is needed to help minimize or avoid permanent vision loss.

Top 5 Warning Signs of Age-Related Vision Problems

1. Double Vision

There are many different eye conditions that may cause double vision. Often double vision can act as an early warning sign for more serious health emergencies, including a stroke. If you notice a sudden onset of double or ghost images, you should act quickly to see your doctor.

2. Cataracts

Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the US and characterized by cloudy or opaque areas located in the lens of the eye. Some common symptoms of cataracts include blurred vision, difficulty seeing at night and an increased glare sensitivity. Current research suggests that more than 24 million adults over the age of 40 have cataracts.

3. Glaucoma

Glaucoma is characterized by a group of different eye disorders that gradually cause damage to the optic nerve. Over time, this damage can lead to a total loss of vision, making glaucoma the second-leading cause of blindness. Symptoms associated with glaucoma include the loss of peripheral vision, hazy vision, tunnel vision and increased light sensitivity. Most common in people over 40, an annual eye exam can help to catch early warning signs of this potentially debilitating condition.

4. Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration or AMD is the number one cause of severe vision loss in Americans over the age of 50. This common eye condition typically affects the central vision making it more difficult to see objects clearly. Early warning signs of AMD may include a loss of clear color vision and an empty or dark area in the center of your field of vision.

5. Blepharitis and Dry Eye Syndrome

While more of a nuisance than a condition that may result in vision loss, blepharitis is characterized by an infection or inflammation of the eyelid. Seniors may experience symptoms that include irritated or itchy eyelids and the formation of scales on the eyelashes that are similar to dandruff. Although it is not usually contagious, blepharitis can result in dry eye syndrome which can be extremely uncomfortable. Seniors are especially susceptible to dry eye syndrome because of changes in how the body produces tears but both over-the-counter and prescription remedies for dry eyes are readily available.

Protect Your Vision as You Enjoy Your Senior Years

Being proactive about your health and safety is important as you grow older. At Havenwood Heritage Heights, we urge our community members to be proactive about their eye health by being aware of common warning signs for these common conditions and staying on top of your annual eye exams.

Worried about scheduling and organizing your next optometry appointment? We offer a number of health service programs to help ensure you never miss an important exam. If you’re interested in learning more about the services and amenities available at our continuing care retirement community or you’d like to schedule a tour, be sure to contact us  today for more information.

By Mike Wall


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