Preventing Serious Eye Conditions: Eye Care for Seniors

December 15, 2016 — by Dr. Gregory Stainer
Tags: Eye Exams Eye Care

Eye Care for SeniorsAs we age, our vision changes. Even those with near-perfect vision typically begin noticing changes around age 60 and beyond. Advanced age also increases our risk of developing more serious eye conditions, such as cataracts or glaucoma. To help mitigate this risk, we provide comprehensive eye care for seniors at Southwest Eye Care & Laser in Bakersfield, CA. Taking certain preventive steps, such as attending your annual eye exams, can help prevent the development of serious conditions that can lead to vision loss.

Age-related Vision Changes

Our eyes change as we age. This can lead to common problems such as presbyopia. This reduced ability to view objects up close typically leads patients to compensate with reading glasses. While it is a frustrating problem, it is easily remedied. Other conditions that can arise as we age include dry eye, glare, difficulty distinguishing between colors, and the need for better lighting.

While dry eye may partially result from your eyes’ reduced tear production as you age, it can also result from certain medications. If you are experiencing dry eyes, you should speak with one of our doctors to examine all potential causes.

Serious Age-related Eye Conditions

While the above vision changes are frustrating symptoms of aging eyes, they are normal and are much less serious than other age-related eye conditions.

  • Cataracts: A cataract can form on the eye’s natural lens, resulting in blurred or hazy vision. Cataracts can occur in one or both eyes and can lead to vision loss if left untreated. Fortunately, a simple surgical procedure can replace the clouded lens with an artificial lens to restore vision.
  • Glaucoma: When the eye’s intraocular pressure increases, it can lead to vision loss. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of vision loss in the world. While treatment options are available, it is not a curable eye disease. Early detection and treatment is key to preventing total vision loss.
  • Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD): This eye condition affects the eye’s central vision, which can make it difficult to focus on objects and may distort colors and details. One of the common symptoms is the perception of straight lines as wavy. As with glaucoma, the best way to prevent vision loss is to detect the condition and begin treatment as soon as possible.

Importance of Eye Care for Seniors

The best way to prevent the onset of many of these serious eye conditions is to attend your annual eye exams faithfully. The point at which you begin needing annual exams is dependent on your overall vision health and your family history and risk of developing these conditions. In addition to attending your regularly scheduled eye exams, we also recommend that patients quit smoking. Tobacco use can significantly increase your risk for these serious conditions. Quitting, even at an advanced age, can dramatically reduce your risk.

Schedule Your Next Eye Exam Today

If you are overdue for an eye exam, or if you have begun to notice changes in your vision, contact Southwest Eye Care & Laser today to schedule an exam.

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