AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

Our bodies change as we age. There are obvious small annoyances such as stiffness or weight gain, but there are also many serious illnesses that accompany aging. Nowadays, people are more aware of how their health changes with age, and they often monitor themselves for early signs of trouble. Unfortunately, eye problems are not usually considered. Most of the age-related eye diseases have a very gradual onset, with minimal early symptoms. Until vision is significantly affected, people often don’t realize that there is a problem. If these common problems with aging eyes were better known, and people understood how to assess their risk factors and how to monitor their eye status, a lot of vision could be saved.

Aging Eyes Aging Eyes: What To Look For


Cataracts are possibly the best-known problem of older eyes. Almost three out of every four people over the age of 75 have cataracts. The lens of the eye becomes clouded, resulting in blurry or dim vision. It is often described as looking through a dirty windshield. Cataract patients may also see halos around lights and be sensitive to glare.?


The vision loss from glaucoma is due to damage of the optic nerve. The most common symptom is loss of peripheral vision, and it can eventually lead to blindness. Vision loss is often not detected until the disease is advanced. The damage cannot be reversed; the vision loss is permanent. Regular examinations are the best way to catch this disease early.

Mascular Degeneration

Macular degeneration also is associated with aging. The macula is responsible for the center of the visual field. When it is damaged, the objects viewed directly are not seen clearly. Printed words and straight lines may appear distorted, there can be an overall haziness of vision or a blind spot in the middle of the viewing area. If detected early, before the macula is significantly damaged, progression of the disease can be slowed significantly.

Gray Spots

As we age, we may notice black or gray spots in the visual field. These are floaters. They occur because the fluid inside the eye starts to clump. Although a gradual increase in floaters is normal, a sudden increase or associated visual flashes could be a warning sign of retinal detachment. If this happens, you should consult your eye doctor immediately.


Other age-related eye problems fall more into the nuisance category. Presbyopia is probably the most prevalent of these. If you find yourself stretching your arm in order to read a book or a restaurant menu, then you probably have presbyopia. The lens of the eye gradually becomes rigid, and it is less able to focus on nearby items. Symptoms appear in middle age, and most people use some form of reading glasses or contacts to address the problem. There are also corrective surgical options available.

Dry eyes can occur with age when the eyes start to produce fewer tears. People frequently rub their eyes, and the eyes feel increasingly dry and irritated. Corneal damage may result if this is left untreated.

Higher Risk

Although any of us could develop these eye conditions, some are at higher risk. Heredity plays a role in glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts. Smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and a poor diet are also risk factors. Diabetes is associated with retinopathy as well as cataracts. We all should watch for symptoms, but those at higher risk should be especially vigilant.

Although it is important to monitor ourselves for symptoms of eye trouble, it is crucial to have regular eye examinations as we age because of the lack of early signs. Even if you have no risk factors, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends a baseline comprehensive exam at age 40 followed by periodic exams every two to four years. By age 65, examinations every one to two years are recommended. At the initial evaluation, your eye doctor can recommend a periodic exam schedule suited to your age and risk factors.

About Author : Austin Faux works for Dallas Lasik Eye Center. While at the office I’m on the computer staying up to date on the latest Lasik news and technology. ?When at home I’m helping my beautiful wife relax, playing with my two wonderful kids and messing around on my nerd podcast, “I Am A Super Nerd.”
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