Common Age-Related Eye Problems
There are several eye problems that are more common as people age, but they still can affect anyone during their life. There are some simple measures that people of any age can take to help ease their comfort and see well.
Eye problems that can occur during any age are:
- Presbyopia is the loss of ability to see close objects or small print, and is often corrected with reading glasses.
- Floaters are tiny spots or specks that float across the field of vision. Floaters often are normal, but can sometimes be indications of eye problems such as retinal detachment, especially if they are accompanied by light flashes. If you notice a sudden change in the type or number of spots or flashes, see your eye doctor as soon as possible.
- Dry eyes happen when tear glands cannot make enough tears or produce poor quality tears. Dry eyes can be uncomfortable, causing itching, burning or even some loss of vision. Your eye doctor may suggest using a humidifier in your home or special eye drops that simulate real tears. Surgery may be needed in more serious cases of dry eyes.
- Tearing, or having too many tears, can come from being sensitive to light, wind or temperature changes. Tearing may also mean that you have a more serious problem, such as an eye infection or a blocked tear duct.
Many people with sight complications find low-vision aids helpful. These are special devices that are stronger than regular eyeglasses. Low vision aids include telescopic glasses, lenses that filter light and magnifying glasses. There are also some useful electronic devices that you can either hold in your hand or put directly on your reading material. Some people with only partial sight are able to increase their vision significantly by using these devices.
Whether or not you have an age-related sight condition, there are simple things you can do to help improve your vision and maintain good eye health. See your eye healthcare provider more frequently for screenings, and take special precautions if you have diabetes or a family history of eye disease.