As we age, so do our eyes. Though weakened vision is inevitable and the chance of disease increases, there are preventive steps you can take to strengthen your eye health and solutions available to help alleviate declining eyesight.
What can you do to protect your vision as you age?
Though aging eyes will always be working against you, there are preventive measures you can take to maintain good eye health. Many eye problems can be prevented or corrected if caught early. The most crucial step is making sure you get regular eye exams and set up an appointment with your eye doctor if you have additional vision concerns.
Understand Common Eye Problems When Aging
Here are six of the most common vision challenges and eye problems you may run into as you age, as well as simple treatments for relief.
- Dry eyes. Dry eyes are a symptom of aging eyes and can be itchy and uncomfortable. This occurs when eyes stop producing enough tears or quality tears. If you feel you are experiencing dry eyes, you can try using a humidifier in your home or see a doctor to obtain eye drops.
- Excessive Tearing. Tears may build up a little more easily as you age, especially in bright lights, in wind or with temperature changes. To prevent tearing, use sunglasses or shield your eyes when in such conditions. You may consider seeing a doctor if tearing occurs outside of these conditions, as it could be a more serious problem, such as an eye infection or a blocked tear duct.
- Eye Floaters. Some people may experience floaters, or small specks that float in front of their field of vision. This is normal for aging eyes; however, it can also signify more serious eye problems. If you notice eye floaters, it would be wise to visit the eye doctor for a checkup as soon as possible.
- Presbyopia. The most common sign of aging eyesight is Presbyopia, difficulty seeing close objects or small print. Many devices could be helpful in easing this sight obstacle. You can find, for example, telescopic glasses, lenses that filter light and magnifying glasses to enlarge print. Electronic devices are also helpful, as they can be adjusted to provide larger fonts.
- Cataracts. Cataracts form slowly and painlessly, but over time, the cloudy areas that develop in the eye lens can keep light from passing through to the retina, which can cause blurry vision. If you suspect that you have cataracts that are contributing to blurry vision, reach out to your eye doctor to discuss treatment options.
- Glaucoma. Glaucoma is often related to increased pressure in the eye. The concerning aspect of Glaucoma is that there are no early symptoms or pain that would indicate that you have Glaucoma. Those at risk of developing this eye disease have risk factors associated with heredity, race, age, diabetes, and some types of medication. Your eye doctor can detect whether or not you have Glaucoma and provide treatment ranging from prescription eye drops to surgery.
Watch for Eye Disease and Disorders
Many diseases can be treated if they are caught quickly, however there are eye emergency signs that you’ll want to watch for, such as:
- Sudden onset of blurry vision
- Increase in new eye floaters
- Eye pain
- Double vision
- Redness and/or swelling of your eye or eyelid
If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, reach out to your eye doctor as soon as possible.
Care for Your Aging Vision
Whether or not you are concerned about aging eye issues, one way to stay on top of any developing eye problems is to have an annual eye exam. At VSP, we want to help you take care of your eye and vision health needs. Our network eye doctors are happy to help you at every age stage. Learn more about the benefits VSP vision insurance plans provide.
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