Aging and Your Eyes


As you age, it is normal to notice changes in your vision. A few common changes for older adults include losing the ability to see up close, having trouble distinguishing colors, such as blue from black, needing more time to adjust to changing levels of light.

These problems are often corrected. Glasses, contact lenses, and improved lighting may help and enable you to maintain your lifestyle and independence.

What to do to protect your vision?

Everyone over age 50 should have a dilated eye exam every year or as recommended by our eye care professional, even if you have good vision and don’t wear contacts or glasses.

After age 60, you should get a dilated eye exam every year. Most people with diabetes or high blood pressure need to get a dilated exam at lease once a year. It’s important to use the proper prescription glasses or contact lenses.

The following eye problems can lead to vision loss in older adults:

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) can harm the shape, central vision needed to see objects clearly and to do common things like driving and reading.

Your eye care professional will ask about your family history and look for signs of AMD during a dilated eye exam.

Diabetic retinopathy may occur if you have diabetes. It develops slowly, often with no early warning signs. If you have diabetes, be sure to have a dilated eye exam at least once a year.

Glaucoma is usually caused by too much fluid pressure inside the eye. If not treated, it can lead to vision loss and blindness. People with glaucoma often have no early symptoms or pain.

Cataracts are cloudy areas in the eye’s lens causing blurred or hazy vision. Some cataracts stay small and don’t change your eyesight much. Others become large and reduce visions.

Dry eye occurs when tear glands don’t work well. You may feel stinging or burning, a sandy feeling as it something is in the eye, or other discomfort. Dry eye is common as people get older, especially for women.

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