The 5 Most Common Age-Related Vision Issues
If you are helping to care for a senior loved one, it may be part of your responsibility as their care provider or family member to be on the lookout for different developing health care issues, such as an issue with vision that may be forming with your loved one.
Many times, age-related vision problems develop slowly, meaning many seniors don’t even realize when they are happening. The best thing that you can do is to look for signs of changes in your loved one’s vision such as struggling to read close up or see signs from far away or issue with seeing at night. Dry eyes and eye irritations can also be a similar age-related vision issue.
It is also important to be aware of some of the more common age-related vision problems that tend to impact seniors. The more you know about these issues and what their signs and symptoms are, the better equipped you will be to help your loved one get the professional assistance they need to overcome these types of eye problems.
This condition occurs when the eyelid becomes inflamed or infected. Typical symptoms include itchy, irritated eyelids, scales on the eyelashes and extreme dry eye. In some extreme cases, it can ultimately damage the vision, but in most situations, it is not contagious or damaging. However, it can be very irritating and uncomfortable.
It is estimated that cataracts impact nearly 25 million adults in the United States over the age of 40. Cataracts are cloudy or opaque areas in the lens of the eye that can interfere with a person’s vision. They are also the most common cause of blindness in seniors. Signs to look for include blurred or hazy vision, trouble seeing at night, reduced color intensity and increased sensitivity to glare.
- General Vision Problems
There are a number of other general vision problems that can come as side effects of conditions that happen to be common among seniors. This includes diabetic retinopathy which is common with seniors who have diabetes. It actually impacts the blood vessels in the retina. Certain forms of arthritis and high blood pressure are also known to cause vision issues in seniors as well, so you should monitor your loved one’s vision if they happen to have these conditions.
Glaucoma is actually the second-leading cause of blindness in the United States and while many people use the word “glaucoma” to describe one condition it is actually a group of eye disorders. These disorders can all cause progressive damage to the optic nerve. Over time, it can result in a loss of vision. It is extremely common in those over 60 and any adults should be tested starting around age 40 and on a regular basis thereafter.
- Macular Degeneration
There are a few different types of macular degeneration, but Age-Related Macular Degeneration is common in individuals over the age of 50 and is actually the leading cause of central vision loss in senior adults. Symptoms include gradually being unable to see objects clearly, a loss of color vision, having a dark or empty area in the center of vision or seeing distortion in shapes or objects.
- Kimberly Langdon M.D. is a retired, board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist with 19-years of clinical experience. She graduated from The Ohio State University College of Medicine earning Honors in many rotations. She then completed her OB/GYN residency program at The Ohio State University Medical Center, earning first-place for her senior research project and placed in the 98th percentile on the national exam for OB/GYN residents in the U.S..
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