Monday, November 14, 2016

Your Eyes May Change with Age

As we age, our vision declines much like other parts of our bodies.   So while some loss of vision is normal, there are other signs that may be an indication of more serious medical problems.
Presbyopia is a normal condition of the eyes that starts around the age of forty and is the hardening of the lens.  It causes the eye not to focus as well on objects close at hand.  While it is easily corrected by reading glasses or multi-lens glasses, it does continue to worsen as we age.  Generally people need stronger and stronger prescriptions through the years or several different sets of glasses for different tasks.  There are surgical procedures called conductive keratoplasty or monovision lasik that can be done to correct the problem.
Cataracts, which are a clouding of the eyes’ lens, are so common among seniors and easily treated that they are now considered a normal part of the aging process. Surgery is very safe, and in most cases, the doctor removes the cloudy lens and replaces it with a plastic lens.
Glaucoma is another disease that strikes mainly older people and is caused by too much fluid pressure inside the eyes.  There is no pain associated with early stages of glaucoma and it may lead to vision loss and blindness.  It can be treated so early detection is important.
Vision Aware, the American Foundation for the Blind recommends contacting your doctor if you experience any of the following changes in your vision:
  • severe. sudden eye pain
  • recurrent pain in or around the eye
  • hazy, blurred, or double vision
  • seeing flashes of light or sudden bright floating spots
  • seeing rainbows or halos around lights
  • seeing floating "spider webs"
  • seeing a "curtain coming down" over one eye
  • unusual, even painful, sensitivity to light or glare
  • swollen, red eyes
  • changes in the color of the iris
  • white areas in the pupil or the eye
  • sudden development of persistent floaters
  • itching, burning, or a heavy discharge in the eyes
  • any sudden change in vision
There are several other vision problems that can lead to blindness.  Macular degeneration (also called age-related macular degeneration or AMD) is one of those.  It is the leading cause of vision loss or blindness among older Americans.  The All About Vision website states: “Early signs of vision loss from AMD include shadowy areas in your central vision or unusually fuzzy or distorted vision.  An Amsler grid (used to diagnose AMD) consists of straight lines, with a reference dot in the center. Someone with macular degeneration may see some of the lines as wavy or blurred, with some dark areas at the center.”
It is very important for seniors to have regular eye check-ups and see their doctor if something changes.  Eye diseases can be very serious and early intervention is important.
For informational purposes only, please consult your health care provider if you have any questions regarding your health.
MorningStarof Sparks’ unique mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest” sets us apart from other senior communities.  Committed to creating a true home for residents within a gorgeous setting, our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve.  We invite you to schedule a visit to learn more about our exceptional senior living.,

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