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Signs of Common Vision Problems to Look for as You Age

Senior woman using magnifying glass to read a bookCourtesy of Anita Ginsburg

Your body changes as you get older. You might notice a reduction in flexibility, inflammation of your joints, and deepening wrinkles. One of the most common changes for aging adults is changes in vision. While some vision changes are expected as you get older, it’s important to know the signs of serious vision problems and how they can be corrected.

Floaters

Floaters are among the most common signs of a vision problem. They are little spots that float around your vision. Floaters are common occurrences from staring at a screen or being in a room that is too bright. Exposure to too much sunlight can also cause floaters to appear. Experiencing floaters occasionally is normal, but it is also possible they’re a symptom of another issue. If you see floaters more frequently than you used to, contact your eye care doctor for an examination.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a common eye condition that is often found in people over 65 years old. In fact, approximately three million people in the United States have glaucoma and more will develop it in their lifetimes. Symptoms of glaucoma include redness in the eye, seeing rings of light, and having hazy eyes. Glaucoma can lead to blindness, so it’s incredibly important to get your eyes checked if you’ve noticed any symptoms. While there isn’t a cure for this issue, early detection and treatment from your eye doctor can help prevent the issue from progressing.

Cataracts

Cataracts are when the lens of your eyes become cloudy. This is a common problem for elderly people. Cataracts develop over time as the proteins in the eyes break down. This is usually caused by natural aging, though it can also occur from sustaining an injury. Cataracts may also appear after receiving eye surgery or because of a pre-existing medical condition such as obesity. The only treatment for cataracts is surgery.

Retinal Detachment

The retina is the part of the eye that is responsible for sending images directly to your brain. When the retina detaches, it pulls away from the necessary blood vessels that give it nutrients and oxygen. The symptoms of a detached retina include light flashes, reduced peripheral vision, and blurry vision.

Although retinal detachment is often the result of a traumatic injury, it’s possible for it to occur naturally in older people. Despite how common this is, retinal detachment is actually one of the most severe eye issues. If left untreated, it can cause blindness.

If you think you are developing any of these or another vision problem, treatment at an eye care center can help. Eye care centers treat all types of visual problems, like glaucoma, retinal disorders and problems with the eyelids. The key is scheduling an appointment as soon as you notice the issue. Don’t wait until your symptoms become more severe.

Getting older doesn’t need to slow you down. In addition to living a healthy lifestyle, you also need to take care of your eyes. Schedule annual visual exams and reach out to your doctor if you develop any sudden changes in your vision.

Bio: Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.

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