It is no secret that the aging process can affect vision, even in people who have not previously had any issues. You may find yourself squinting to see things in the distance, or holding your reading material closer to your face to see clearly. While you may be hesitant to see your eye care provider, regular comprehensive eye exams are more important at this stage of your life than ever. There are several eye conditions in seniors that can rob you of your sight before you even realize you have a problem.
Independence is critical to leading a full life and your vision plays a large role in sustaining it, especially as you age. While a healthy diet and exercise, as well as not smoking or drinking in excess, contribute to healthy vision, maintaining a schedule for comprehensive eye exams is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. According to the American Optometric Association, there are eye conditions, especially in those 60 and older, in seniors that can permanently affect your vision, and by the time you do feel there is a problem, the damage is often irreversible. Some of these conditions include:
- — Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects fine detail and colors. It will eventually rob you of your central vision, yet usually does not affect the peripheral. Your central vision is what allows you to recognize faces, read, watch television and other detailed activities.
- — Glaucoma is characterized as the “silent thief of sight” because there often aren’t any symptoms. This condition is caused by excess pressure in the eye that leads to permanent damage of the optical nerve if not treated at early onset.
- — Diabetic retinopathy often occurs if you have suffered from diabetes for many years or if your sugar levels are not properly regulated. This causes damage to the many little vessels that nourish the retina and results in vision loss over time.