Top Age-Related Eye Conditions Seniors Can Develop

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Age-related eye disorders are many, most of which we do not know about and tend to delay in identification and diagnosis. Here we are with a list of top age related eye diseases and the ways you can prevent them. 

With growing age, it is not just your hair that turns grey or your skin that gets wrinkled but also your eyes that get weaker and need special care. Several age-related issues have direct adverse impacts on eyes thereby resulting in the occurrence of eye-related disorders that are age-specific, say doctors. Most seniors are not aware of the age related eye conditions they can develop.

Here are some of the age related eye conditions seniors can develop

Cataract: This is the most common.. It occurs when there is movement of proteins in your eye lens that leads to clouding of the lens. A cataract causes glare and clouded or blurred vision.

Glaucoma: It is a disease that can actually cause blindness, hence, one needs to be careful about detecting its symptoms. Glaucoma is the umbrella term for a group of diseases that damages the optic nerve thereby resulting in vision loss and blindness. It occurs due to high intraocular pressure which is the pressure of fluid inside your eyes.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD): This also is considered to be one of the most common vision problems in older adults. This usually occurs among people above 60 years and the condition progressively degenerates or destroys the macula, the central portion of your retina that impairs the central vision. AMD hinders a person’s ability to see objects and that prevents him or her from daily activities like reading.

Dry Eye: It develops due to poor quality or inadequate secretion of tears in the eyes. It results in itchiness, irritation in eyes and redness and pain in the eyes as well.

Diabetic Retinopathy: This is a condition that is associated with Diabetes and leads to blurred vision.

According to Dr Jalpa Vashi, consultant ophthalmologist at Manipal Hospital, Whitefield, here are certain symptoms that senior citizens and older adults should watch out for and not delay in visiting an eye doctor when they have one.

Signs to worry about

Sudden onset of spots and floaters in the field of vision: Eye floaters occur due to a benign, age-related condition known as Vitreous Detachment. This happens when the gel-like interior of the eyes liquefies and gets separated from the retina. However, sudden spots and floaters may also occur due to a severe, sight-threatening tear of retina or retina detachment. This is when you need to see an eye doctor without any delay.

Feeling of a dark curtain settled across the field of view: This can happen due to a retinal detachment when the retina separates from the underlying layer of nourishing blood vessels (choroid). This can result in permanent loss of vision in case the retina is not attached within a couple of hours.

Sudden eye pain, nausea and vomiting: In case you are experiencing these, you must be suffering from acute narrow-angle Glaucoma that can permanently damage your optic nerve. Visit an ophthalmologist immediately to prevent permanent vision loss.

Double vision, double images or ghost images: This can be caused by several eye conditions. It can indicate a stroke or paralysis of external eye muscles.

Sudden blind spot in the eye: If you are above 50, you may have a chance of developing a macular hole in the most sensitive part of the retina. Macular holes may cause extensive damage to your eyes, even permanent loss of vision.

How To Prevent These Conditions

Speaking about the ways of preventing these age-related conditions, Dr Asha MS, Ophthalmologist at BR Life SSNMC Hospital, says: “Regular eye check-up can help in tracking and early diagnosis of any eye disorder. Avoiding smoking can help a great deal in keeping your eye health steady. Staying away from alcohol also works wonder as alcohol consumption leads to a gradual reduction of vision and vision loss.”

Dr Sirish Nelivigi, senior consultant, Ophthalmology at Sakra World Hospital, adds: Maintaining a healthy diet also helps in amping up your eye health. You must have a diet rich in Vitamin C and E, Zinc, Copper, Vitamin B complex, Omega – 3 fatty acids and beta-carotene. Eat whole grains, lean meats, fish, nuts, legumes, eggs, orange and yellow veggies, sweet potatoes and spinach for healthy eyes.

According to Dr Karthiyayini Mahadevan, Head, Wellness and Wellbeing at Columbia Pacific Communities, a balanced diet, healthy lifestyle, adequate rest, mental relaxation and the right kind of physical activity like walking and yoga can give you healthy eyes.

Tips for healthy eyes from doctors

Quit smoking: Smoking is bad for eyes and can cause a vision problem.

Wear sunglasses: Wearing sunglasses while you are out in the sun can protect your eyes fromUV rays that can cause serious harm to vision.

Wearing Contact lens: Contact lenses are often handled carelessly by many people. You should wash your hands before wearing and removing it. Unclean contact lenses can result in inflammation of the cornea.

Avoid looking directly at the bright light: Looking directly at the bright light can permanently affect your vision. It is better to avoid staring at bright light objects for longer hours.

Eye Exercise: Eye exercise can improve the blood circulation to the eyes and increase the oxygen level and prevent toxins.

Rest and Sleep: A good sleep can boost your eyes healthy and make it feel fresh. Take frequent breaks between work and give rest to your eyes.

About Author

Sreemoyee Chatterjee

Sreemoyee Chatterjee is the content head of Sliver Talkies. A curious and talkative storyteller, she loves spending time with and working for the older adults and getting the best for them. Sreemoyee has served as a correspondent and on-field reporter for 4 years. A classical dancer and thespian by passion, she spends her leisure by writing poetry, scripts for stage theatres and listening to countryside music.