Aging is a natural process of living, but so is reading, watching the sky turn from day to night, and seeing your grandchildren grow up. Don’t let eye problems go untreated, and don’t wait to treat them until it’s too late. With modern technology, malfunctions of the eye can be detected and treated before they cause any damage at all, even before you yourself can tell they’re there. Getting regular checkups at your local opthamologist can ensure that these problems will be diagnosed and treated before they cause any lasting damage or other problems to arise.
As you age, your body will age with you and vision loss is one of the most common side effects. According to the World Health Organization, the majority of people with eye problems are over the age of 501. Cataracts and uncorrected refractive errors are the two leading causes of vision impairment and both associated with old age. Recent scientific studies have also suggested that a positive correlation exists between cataracts and uncorrected refractive errors, and so having one may heighten the risk of getting another2. The key to battling vision loss is an ongoing process that involves awareness through informing yourself on the topic and prevention by undertaking regular eye exams.
Uncorrected refractive errors is a group of complications that can be a direct result of simply aging. When focusing on things near or far, eyes alter their shape to be either convex or concave. Throughout time, the elasticity in the eye weakens, making it more difficult to contort into these positions naturally. This is also called nearsightedness and farsightedness, both normal side effects of growing older3. Laser eye surgery, glasses, or contacts prescribed by your local optometrist can have you seeing better in no time.
Similar to uncorrected refractive errors, most cataracts are also related to aging. According to Kellogg Eye Center at the University of Michigan’s medicine department, over 90% of people over the age of 65 have at least one cataract. At age 75, half of the people have experienced vision loss caused by a cataract4. Cataracts grow slowly, so that you may not even realize you have. While regular checkups are crucial in monitoring known cataracts, regular checkups can also help identify newly formed ones that have not yet caused any damage. Treatment options for cataracts include cataract surgery, a safe procedure that can usually restore all impairment caused by the cataract, or physical aids such as sunglasses, brighter lighting, and magnifying glasses for early onsets of cataracts.
On top of aging, the build up of certain behaviors such as not wearing sunglasses, smoking, heavy drinking, and obesity also contribute to age-related vision loss. If you find yourself with a cataract or refractive errors, there is no need to worry. Vision loss by cataracts, even vision loss by uncorrected refractive errors, can sometimes be avoided altogether.