What Are the Common Eye Problems That Occur With Aging?

Dry Eyes: This is a common issue due to decreased tear production and eyelid problems. It can be worsened by smoking, menopause, computer use, dehydration, and certain medical conditions. Artificial tears and lifestyle changes can help manage it.

Presbyopia: This age-related condition causes near vision blurring. Reading glasses are typically recommended to improve reading and close-up tasks.

Posterior Vitreous Detachment and Floaters: The vitreous gel inside the eye liquefies with age, causing floaters (like seeing “mosquitoes”). Flashes of light, sudden increase in floaters, or vision loss require immediate ophthalmologist evaluation.

Cataract: This is a clouding of the lens, causing blurred vision. It’s the most common eye disease in seniors, treatable with surgery and intraocular lens implantation to restore vision.

Sight-Threatening Conditions:

  • Glaucoma: This damages the optic nerve due to increased pressure in the eye, leading to progressive vision loss. There are two main types: open-angle and closed-angle.
  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD): This is a leading cause of blindness. It has two forms: dry AMD (gradual vision loss) and wet AMD (rapid vision loss due to abnormal blood vessels leaking fluid).
  • Diabetic Retinopathy: Poor blood sugar control in diabetics can cause new blood vessels in the retina to leak and bleed, leading to vision loss.
  • Remember: Early detection and treatment are crucial for managing eye conditions and preventing vision loss. Regular eye exams with an ophthalmologist are essential for seniors.