As we age, our eyes change in ways that affect the sharpness of vision, limit our ability to enjoy favorite activities, and may become prone to serious diseases that threaten our sight.
Below, the experienced vision care professionals of Austin Eye review some of the common changes that occur as our eyes view life’s colorful parade of passing years.
At age 40 or above, most of us begin to experience presbyopia, the condition that makes reading glasses an essential fashion accessory. Sometimes we are slow to accept this new reality, and spend years holding books at arm’s length or seeking large-print versions. In addition to reading glasses, solutions to presbyopia include bifocals, LASIK and a monovision technique in which a lens prescription corrects one eye for distance and the other for near vision.
Hazy Vision Forecast
Two decades later, your eyes may present a new challenge: cataracts. While presbyopia is caused by progressive loss of lens flexibility, cataracts occur when the lens becomes cloudy, obscuring the image it projects on the retina.
This becomes more likely as we reach our 60s, and the risk continues to grow as we age. The clouding effect progresses slowly, and its only recognizable symptom is the gradual blurring of vision. As common as this condition is, the solution is just as routine: Millions of cataract surgeries are performed each year. In this convenient procedure, the clouded lens is removed and replaced with a lens implant that will remain clear for life.
Glaucoma is a dangerous condition that can strike at any age, but your risk increases as you grow older. Glaucoma develops when excess pressure within the eye begins to damage the optic nerve. If untreated, glaucoma will lead to partial or total loss of vision.
There are several options available to slow the progression of glaucoma, including eye drops, medications and surgery, but the most important way to treat the disease is to identify it early. An annual eye exam by an experienced ophthalmologist will always include a check for signs of glaucoma and other conditions which have the potential to imperil your vision, such as macular degeneration.
If you would like to learn more about ways to preserve clear vision for a lifetime, we invite you to schedule a personal consultation with one of the board-certified ophthalmologists at Austin Eye. Contact us by calling our North office at (512) 250-2020 or our Central office at (512) 454-2020.