3 Aging Eyesight Problems And What Can Be Done

3 Aging Eyesight Problems And What Can Be Done

As you age, unfortunately the body doesn’t function as well as it did in its younger days. The eyes, as part of the body, are no exception. It is a scary prospect that you could be left blind by one of the aging eyesight problems or at least left with severely restricted sight.

So much for the golden years!

If you don’t already have one of these eyesight problems, there are steps you can take now to minimize the risk (although it may be unavoidable if genetics are involved).

Even if you do have one of these aging eyesight problems already, you can sometimes do something to stop the condition getting worse or, depending on the condition you have, eradicate it all together.

I give a really brief overview here of what are the 3 most common of the aging eyesight problems, what the symptoms are and what can be done when the condition is diagnosed.

 

Aging eyesight problem: glaucoma1. Glaucoma

This is caused by a build-up of pressure in the eye. The eye is no longer draining the fluid it has produced as well as it used to and this creates this build-up.

This in turn puts pressure on and can cause damage to the optic nerve, retina and the lens.

There are two types:

The first type (open angle) starts as a slow build up of pressure. There may not be any symptoms at first. That is why regular check-ups are important with this condition. But as the pressure builds, this could lead to headaches, peripheral vision and later tunnel vision.

The other type (close angle) has a quick rise in pressure. You would know quickly if you had this type of glaucoma as the symptoms would soon be apparent. These include red swollen eyes, swollen eyelids or even vision loss. So, with this type of glaucoma, immediate assistance from an eye doctor is required as it will develop rapidly otherwise.

Regular eye check-ups with your eye doctor are recommended to pick up glaucoma at an early stage. As there are often no symptoms with close angle glaucoma at the initial stages, it can only be diagnosed by the eye doctor.

In order to minimize the risk as far as possible of developing this condition, a healthy lifestyle is recommended to ensure good blood flow to all parts of the body.

An anti-inflammatory diet would also be a good choice to ensure as far as possible the proper functioning of the eyes.

If you have the condition, it can be treatable with eye drops, surgery or laser treatment to stop pressure building up but these treatments can’t restore your eyesight once the damage has been done.

So, the important thing is getting the condition diagnosed early enough so that no permanent damage has already been done.

 

An aging eyesight problem: cataracts

 

 

2. Cataracts

These cause a clouding of the eye’s lens. This is due to changes to the tissue (that could be as a result of aging, injury or diabetes). This is probably the most well known of the aging eyesight problems.

If left untreated, cataracts can lead to vision loss and blindness. They don’t tend to get worse quickly though.

There are ways to reduce the risk of getting cataracts in the first place (although they are unable to eliminate the risk completely). These include a healthy diet (you could consider certain supplements as well), giving up smoking and avoiding UV light by wearing sunglasses. You can read my post on the best sunglasses here.

Cataracts are usually treatable by way of surgery (the affected lens is removed and replaced with a synthetic one) or eye drops that dissolve the cataract. If I had the choice, I think I would opt for the eye drops!

 

aging eyesight problem: macular degeneration

3. Age Related Macula Degeneration (AMD)

The macular at the back of the eye is responsible for the central vision. If this starts to degenerate (usually at the age of 50 and over), it leads to vision loss. While the condition will not lead to blindness, it can make it very hard to see. Both eyes or just one eye could be affected.

There are two types. ‘dry AMD’ which develops slowly (could be over years) or ‘wet AMD’ which is the more aggressive form and this develops at a rapid rate (it could be in just a matter of a few weeks). ‘Dry AMD’ is the more common of the two.

It is not known what causes it. It may be down to smoking. It may be hereditary and has been linked with high blood pressure.

Symptoms of AMD include: changes in vision or when reading print, straight lines appear wavy.

A healthy diet rich in fruit and vegetables may minimize the risk of getting AMD but there is no definite link between the condition and a poor diet.

There is no treatment for ‘dry AMD’. For ‘wet AMD’ it might be slowed down with injections into the eye or photodynamic therapy.

As a result of American studies into possible treatments for those already with AMD (these studies were called AREDS and AREDS2), the following supplement formula was recommended for slowing down the progression of the condition:

  • 500 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C
  • 270mg of vitamin E
  • 10mg lutein
  • 2mg zeaxanthin
  • 25mg or 80mg zinc as zinc oxide
  • 2mg copper as cupric oxide.

If you wish to read more in depth into this study and supplements to take, check out this website: brightfocus.com.

 

Healthy Lifestyle and Regular Check-ups

So having had a quick look at these three aging eyesight problems, it is clear that a healthy lifestyle with a good diet and exercise may have a part to play in reducing the chances of their development.

Taking supplements may be beneficial alongside a good diet. I have written a post on supplements and you can read this by clicking here.

However, if genetics have an influence here, there is probably nothing you can do to stop their development in the first place unfortunately.

An early diagnosis of one of these conditions is key to prevent damage to the eye and their progression (if possible). So at aged 40 and above (or as your eye doctor recommends), regular eye checks should be undertaken so that these conditions can be identified at the earliest possible stage.

I hope you have found this post useful. If you have any comments to make, please make them below and I will respond to you.

 

 

12 thoughts on “3 Aging Eyesight Problems And What Can Be Done”

  1. I’ve really enjoyed reading this article as you’ve provided me with lots of valuable information. This article will be very useful to me because i have an aged mother with an eyesight problem. Thanks for highlighting solutions to this defect. Its an eye opener for me.Thanks again for the post. 

    • Thanks Tracy for your comment. The article was just to give a brief overview to highlight these aging eyesight problems. I do hope that your grandmother is able to get her condition properly diagnosed by an eye doctor. 

  2. Most young people are not taking care of their eyes. They think the condition of their eyes will remain the same as it is now in their old age they do not know the effect of aging and how it affects the eyes. Personally, I know that if proper care is taken, the severity of these ailments will reduce if not entirely eradicated. 

    • Sammy, that’s a good point. When people think of having a healthy lifestyle, they think of doing it to looking after their heart or their figure etc but I don’t think I have heard anyone saying I am doing it for my sight! I think there is quite a lot we can do ourselves to limit if not avoid altogether these conditions. Thanks again for your comment. 

  3. With glaucoma in the family and a previous severe eye injury that still gives me trouble, I already get regular check ups, and I am shocked that I didn’t know there were actually two types of glaucoma. A fascinating read with some great tips and tricks to look after our eyes. Thank you!

    • Thanks Josie for taking time to read the post. I am sorry to hear that you still have problems from a previous severe eye injury. I am sure that does require regular check ups as you say to make sure your eyes are closely monitored. 

  4. Thanks for writing this article on 3 ageing eyesight problems and solution for it. I must commend you for a job well done for taking your time to write this article. I really find each and every part of this article informative and educative concerning treatment of the eye. As the saying in my language eye is the light of the body. It is essential to take care of our eye through the food we put into our mouth and our lifestyle. Because most time our lifestyle during our early years of life determine how we are going to be at old age. 

    • Afolabi, you are welcome. I like your saying, ‘the eye is the light of the body.’ The eyes are so important aren’t they but we put a lot more emphasis on other body parts. Perhaps to the detriment of the eyes. I don’t know. But I think awareness needs to be raised at a much earlier age. 

  5. This article is really rich in the knowledge of the 3 aging eyesight problems and what can be done. This article is an eye opener to what I don’t have knowledge about. I don’t have any eye effect but I will be watchful and I will take heed to your advice in going for regular medical check-up to know the condition of my site. I will share this article with friends as well. Great job!

    • Brent, thanks for your comment. Yes, eye checks are not just to test our eye sight (to see if we are short sighted etc) but also to check our eye health. I think some people forget that. 

  6. Hello James; it was good for me to read your post. I found it very informative. The problems of the eye that comes with ageing are shared among many people these days.

     I am not sure, what could be the cause of so many people coming down with these three major eye problems. Where I live many people now have eye issues. That is causing them to be wearing tested glasses and has become a cause for concern.

    Your post could be beneficial to these many people should they get a chance to read it. I will have to share this post with many of my acquaintances.

    DorcasW

    • Many thanks Dorcas for stopping by. Some of these aging eyesight problems are down to our diet, our sedentary lifestyle (and not exercising the body) but also due to our genes. However, I also think we are not taking due care in bright sunlight by wearing proper UV blocking glasses and not blocking out harmful blue light from computers, tablets and mobile phones. If you are interested, I have written posts on computer filters here and blue blocking computer glasses here.  

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