Just like the rest of your body, your eyes evolve with time. Knowing what to expect can help you prepare for age-related changes. Below is an eye care guide so you know what conditions doctors frequently see in their older patients.
5 Age-Related Vision Changes
1. Reduced Pupil Size
Studies have shown that the pupil—the dark part in the middle of your eye—gets smaller with age. This is because the muscles that control its size and reaction to light get weaker with time. The pupil also becomes less responsive to light as a result. You may need more time to adjust your sight in rooms when the lighting changes and have increased sensitivity to light.
2. Decreased Peripheral Vision
Aging also causes a loss of peripheral vision. Since their so-called “useful field of vision” shrinks, seniors are often at a higher risk for car accidents. Make sure to turn your head to get a full view of traffic as needed and maintain regular eye care appointments to check that sure you’re still safe to drive.
3. Increased Risk of Cataracts
Cataracts occur when the eye’s natural lens becomes clouded over instead of clear. These are very common in older people; over-exposure to sunlight and smoking are thought to increase your odds of getting them. Symptoms include blurred or double vision and increased sensitivity to light.
4. Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss among people over 50. It occurs when the macula—the part of the eye needed for sharp, centralized vision—becomes damaged. Symptoms are difficult to notice but an eye care exam can catch early signs.
5. Vitreous Detachment
The vitreous is the gel-like material inside your eye, covering the retina. This may liquefy with age. Although it’s usually harmless, it can cause annoying symptoms like seeing “floaters” or flashes of light. Since these signs can also indicate a detached retina—a more serious issue—it’s important to see a vision care professional in any case.
For comprehensive eye care in Fairbanks, AK, trust Virginia Ramsey Lind, OD. With over 30 years of experience, she is known for her friendly demeanor and comprehensive service offering. Treating patients of all ages, she provides everything from disease treatment to contact lens and glasses fittings. Get a look at some patient reviews on Facebook. To request an appointment, call (907) 456-8028.