As the eyes age, they undergo physiological changes. Our eyes gradually transform due to changes in the shape of the lens and composition of the vitreous, the clear gel-like substance in the eye. These changes affect our vision.
Common Age-Related Vision Problems
Presbyopia: A natural occurrence in people over the age of 40, presbyopia is the result of normal anatomical changes in the lens, which affect the eye’s ability to accurately focus light. Symptoms include eyestrain and fatigue, difficulty reading and/or doing close-up detailed tasks (such as sewing or painting). Corrective lenses are the most common treatment for presbyopia. In some cases, refractive laser surgery may be an option.
Floaters: A relatively common phenomena in middle-aged individuals, floaters are specks that appear in the field of vision and move with the eye’s movement. Floaters are miniscule gelatinous clumps that form in the vitreous as its composition becomes thinner with age. Floaters are not necessarily a cause for concern. However, they may indicate a detached retina–which can pose a very serious threat to vision–and, therefore, should be evaluated.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD or ARMD): In the U.S., AMD is the leading cause of blindness among adults over the age of 65. The macula–a small pigmented area located near the center of the retina–is responsible for our keenest sense of vision. The degeneration of the macula causes distorted vision and a decrease in visual acuity. There is no cure for AMD, but some treatments–such as the drug Lucentis– may delay the disease’s progression.
Retinal Detachment: The retina is responsible for collecting light and sending signals to the brain for image processing. If the retina is pulled from its position and detaches, an individual may see an increase in floaters appearing in the field of vision and/or may experience flashers. A detached retina is considered a medical emergency and requires immediate attention.
Vision Aids for Low Eyesight
Low vision aids are readily available optical devices that can improve vision and compensate for deficiencies related to aging eyes. Reading glasses, magnifiers, and small telescopes are products that have been specially designed to compensate for loss of clarity in both near and distance vision.
Your Eye Consultation with Dr. Semaan, Orange County, CA
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, a routine comprehensive eye exam should be performed more frequently as we age. Dr. Semaan has extensive experience treating conditions associated with aging eyes. He can recommend the best corrective solution so that you can continue to enjoy your normal activities and lifestyle without the frustration of compromised vision. Contact Dr. Semaan at Beach Eye Medical Group in Huntington Beach to schedule an appointment.