Much like other parts of the body, the eyes also change naturally throughout the life of a person. Unfortunately, not many people are conscientious about caring for their eyes and often neglect to visit an ophthalmologist for routine eye exams even as they get older. This negligence can lead to severe eye related concerns. As Zuhal Butuner mentions, getting older often contributes to a number of eye changes that must be monitored.
Zuhal Butuner sheds light on some of the ways aging changes the eyes
As people approach their fifties or sixties, there is a good chance that they would have developed certain common vision problems. If not treated or detected at the right time, such vision problems may even lead to partial and even complete vision loss.
Here are some of the common ways aging changes the eyes:
- Trouble reading the fine print: Presbyopia is very common after the age of forty. This condition makes various close-up activities like sewing and reading very challenging for people. Reading glasses can help in managing this issue. Some people may even go for contact lenses and refractive surgeries. Today there are also eye drops available that can help improve near vision due to presbyopia.
- Difficulty seeing at night: Older adults may often notice that their eyes take longer than before to adjust and focus in the dark. The rod cells of the eyes, which are responsible for low light vision, can become weaker with age. This is why driving can be trickier for aged individuals at night, or during poor weather.
- Dry eyes: Elderly individuals may produce fewer tears. This is quite an uncomfortable eye condition known as dry eye. An ophthalmologist can recommend the appropriate dry eye treatment for a person.
- Objects blending into backgrounds: With age, it may become more difficult for people to distinguish objects from backgrounds of similar color, like black coffee in a black cup. This is due to a loss of contrast sensitivity. Low vision techniques can help in managing this problem, like using opposite colors around the house.
- Red, swollen eyelids: Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelid. This condition takes place due to hormonal changes that happen with age. Its symptoms may include soreness, crust around the eyelashes, as well as swollen or red eyes.
- Spots or floaters in the vision: The vitreous or jelly-like substance filling in the middle of the eye may shrink or get thinker as a person ages. Tiny clumps of gel can form when this happens, causing floaters in the vision.
- Flashes of light: With age, certain people might even see occasional flashes of light in their vision. Such flashes take plan when the vitreous rubs or pulls on the retina.
As Zuhal Butuner points out, elderly individuals with certain eye conditions may also become highly sensitive to glare. To lower this discomfort, one may adjust lighting around the house, cover their eyes with sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat while outdoors, as well as use a matte screen filter on digital devices.