It’s a fact of life that vision can change over time, resulting in a number of noticeable differences in how aging adults see the world around them.
Common age-related vision problems include difficulty seeing things up close or far away, problems seeing in low light or at night, and sensitivity to light and glare. Some symptoms that may seem like minor vision problems may actually be signs of serious eye diseases that could lead to permanent vision loss, including:

  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). An eye disease affecting the macula, the center of the light sensitive retina at the back of the eye. AMD can cause loss of central vision.
  • Cataracts. A clouding of the lens of the eye that usually develops slowly over time and can interfere with vision. Cataracts can cause a decrease in visual contrast between objects and their background, a dulling of colors and an increased sensitivity to glare.
  • Diabetic Retinopathy. A condition occurring in people with diabetes, which causes progressive damage to the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina. The longer a person has diabetes, the more likely they are to develop the condition, which can lead to blindness.
  • Glaucoma. An eye disease leading to progressive damage to the optic nerve due to rising internal fluid pressure in the eye. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness.
  • Dry Eyes. Dry Eye occurs when there is insufficient tears to nourish the eyes. This can be caused by medications, hormones and environmental factors. Poor tear quality can cause dry eye symptoms too.

Many eye diseases have no early symptoms and may develop painlessly; therefore adults may not notice changes in vision until the condition is quite advanced. Healthy lifestyle choices can help ward off eye diseases and maintain existing eyesight. Eating a low-fat diet rich in green, leafy vegetables and fish, not smoking, monitoring blood pressure levels, exercising regularly and wearing proper sunglasses to protect eyes from Ultraviolet (UV) rays can all play a role in preserving eyesight and eye health. Early diagnosis, treatment of serious eye diseases and disorders is critical and can often prevent a total loss of vision, improve adults’ independence and quality of life.

The best way to prevent eye disease and continue leading an active productive live is to maintain yearly eye exams or follow the doctor’s recommendations.

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