June 23, 2024

Ageing and your eyes

As we age our bodies undergo many changes and our eyes are no exception. The ageing process can affect our vision in various different ways.

The most common age-related change in the eyes is presbyopia. Presbyopia is part of the natural ageing process of our eyes but this does not make it any easier. Presbyopia typically begins to affect people in their mid-40’s. It is the gradual loss of the eye’s ability to focus up close, making tasks like reading, threading a needle or using your cellphone more challenging. Presbyopia occurs due to the natural lens inside your eye becoming less flexible over time, making it harder to change shape and focus on near objects. A pair of reading glasses is the easiest option to help magnify and see clearly up close. However there are different options available at Fendalton Eye Clinic to reduce your need for reading glasses, these can be discussed with you at a Free Laser Eye Assessment.

Dry eye syndrome is a condition that becomes more prevalent with age. It occurs when the eyes do not produce enough tears or when the tears are of poor quality and evaporate too quickly. Symptoms include irritation, burning and a gritty sensation. Factors contributing to dry eye include hormonal changes, certain medications and environmental factors.

Another common concern is cataracts which are cloudy areas that form in your lens inside your eye. Cataracts can develop slowly and may not affect your vision initially however with time they can grow and cause blurry vision, glare and difficulty seeing at night. Cataracts can effectively be removed with surgery and is one of the most common surgical procedure worldwide. For more information about cataract surgery at Fendalton Eye Clinic, see Cataract Surgery.

Glaucoma can occur at any age but is more common in older adults. Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damages the optic nerve fibres at the back of the eye, damage to the optic nerve results in irreversible damage to your eyesight. It is often due to high pressure in your eye but can occur with normal pressure. The most common form, Open-angle glaucoma progresses slowly and painlessly, making regular eye exams crucial for early detection. Treatments for glaucoma include eye drops, laser treatment or surgery.

Macular degeneration is most common in people over the age of 60, hence why it is also known as Age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Macular degeneration affects the part of the retina responsible for your central vision. When the macular becomes damaged it causes distortions in your central field of view, making it difficult to see fine details at both distance and near -reading, recognising faces and everyday tasks become more difficult. While there is no cure for macular degeneration, some treatments can slow the progression and therefore slow the vision loss.

Above is only a few eye conditions related to changes in the ageing eye, all show why it is so important to have regular eye exams to maintain healthy eyes and therefore good vision later in life.


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