It's no secret that as people get older, many parts of their body begin to deteriorate. Unfortunately, this includes the eyes. In fact, some statistics state that 7.3 million Americans over the age of 65 have significant visual impairments. The good news is that when symptoms are recognized early and seniors get the necessary treatment, they increase their chances of maintaining good vision health.
More than 50% of all seniors in the United States over the age of 80 have a cataract or they have undergone cataracts treatment. While cataracts are very common for this age group, some people begin getting this eye condition in their 40s, but it's not until after the age of 60 that it begins to affect the vision. Cataracts are formed when lumps of protein begin to build up around the lens of the eye causing clouding of the vision.
Common cataract symptoms include:
- Blurry vision
- Halos appear around lights
- Problems seeing in dim light
One of the most effective types of cataracts treatment is surgery, which removes the cataract from the lens of the eye. Many people experience improved vision following this type of surgery.
Age Related Macular Degeneration
In the United States, there are 11 million people who have been diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In seniors over the age of 60, AMD is the leading cause of vision loss. The chances of getting AMD after the age of 75 increases by 30%. This eye condition occurs when the macula in the eye begins to deteriorate.
Some AMD symptoms include:
- Straight lines begin to look distorted
- Poor vision in dim light
- Seeing spots
There is no cure for AMD. However, early detection can help, which is why it's important for seniors to get regular eye exams.
According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, over 3 million Americans have glaucoma, and even though people of all ages can get this eye condition, seniors have an increased chance of getting diagnosed with it. When the front of the eye begins to retain fluid, it can cause an increase in pressure, which in turn damages the optic nerve. This can lead to impaired vision loss and even blindness.
Some glaucoma symptoms include:
- Vision loss
- Blurry vision
- Distorted vision
In order to treat glaucoma, optometrists may prescribe eye drops, which can help to reduce fluid retention in the eye. Other treatment options include laser eye surgery and a procedure called a trabeculectomy.