Over 60? Here’s Why You Need to See an Eye Doctor.
Your chances of developing eye conditions and diseases increase as you age, meaning that it’s especially important to have your eyes regularly checked by an experienced eye doctor. In fact, The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that adults over the age of 65 have a complete eye exam every year or two, even if they don’t notice any issues with their vision.
During an eye exam at Eye Centers of Florida, we’ll update your prescription as needed, evaluate your overall eye health, and, for our senior patients, we place special emphasis on checking for eye conditions and diseases that develop with age.
Read on to learn more about how age-related eye diseases and conditions can threaten your vision.
Cataracts Are More Common
Than You Think
Our eyes have a clear natural lens that bends light and helps us focus on images. However, as you age, proteins in the lens start to break down, causing the lens to become cloudy and images to look blurry, hazy, distorted, and discolored. This is called a cataract.
Cataracts can begin developing as early as age 40, but the chance of experiencing at least one cataract increases with age. They are the leading cause of blindness and account for more than 20 million cases worldwide.
Luckily, cataracts can be easily treated with cataract surgery, a procedure in which your old, cloudy lens is replaced with an artificial one called an IOL. If you think you might need cataract surgery, the first thing to do is schedule an evaluation with one of our experienced eye surgeons.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration, with an Emphasis on Age Related
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is another eye disease that affects a large percentage of older people. As you age, the macula – a small structure in the back of the eye that’s responsible for reading, driving, and other fine-detail work – can begin to break down.
A sudden loss of central vision, trouble distinguishing colors, and distortions in your vision are only a few of the earliest signs that you may be experiencing AMD. Macular degeneration is a leading cause of vision loss in Americans 60 years of age and older.
AMD can cause serious vision loss if not treated in a timely manner. The best way to ensure that you don’t lose your sight to AMD is to schedule regular eye appointments to catch the disease early, or to go to an eye doctor as soon as you experience any symptoms.
Glaucoma is Caused by
More Than Just Genetics
Glaucoma is a group of eye disorders that progressively damages the optic nerve, causing permanent vision loss that can eventually lead to blindness.
While those with a genetic history of glaucoma are more susceptible to developing the disease, so are those over the age of 60. More than three million Americans are living with glaucoma.
Glaucoma causes a loss or blurring of vision, but this can develop slowly. It’s important to catch cases of glaucoma in its early stages because any vision lost to glaucoma cannot be restored. Yearly eye exams can help detect glaucoma early so that, if you have the condition, we can begin treatment as soon as possible.
At a Certain Age, the Retina Becomes More Susceptible to Damage
With age, certain parts of the body become less strong than they once were. This is also true for the eye.
Seniors are at a greater risk of experiencing small tears in the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye that’s responsible for vision. Retinal tears are serious and can cause permanent vision loss if not treated by an eye care professional immediately.
Seeing shadows in your peripheral vision, experiencing a sudden increase in the size or number of floaters in your eyesight, and the appearance of a grey curtain moving across your field of vision are all indicators of a retinal tear or detachment.
There are other risk factors and conditions other than age that can increase your chance of experiencing a retinal tear. Regular eye exams are an opportunity to identify these risk factors and can help you prevent vision-threatening retinal issues.
Ensure Clear Sight for the Years to Come
Aging can be a beautiful thing, and it should be experienced with the best vision possible. You can ensure your eye’s peak performance by visiting Eye Centers of Florida for an annual eye exam.
Ready to make an appointment? Contact us at (239) 320-7342 begin caring for your eyes for the years to come.