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Monday, 14 May 2012 09:41

Know the Impact of Aging on your Vision…

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Like any other organs, ageing affects your eye and vision also. Knowing Common middle age and adulthood vision problem and correcting them on time can save you from complications..

happy_presbyopia_ladyYou may celebrate your 40th birthday with a promise of regular health check-up. However, you may neglect those minor troubling symptoms affecting your everyday life, thinking that they have no relation with major illness. Apart from the skin, heart, joints and other organs, our eye and vision also gets affected by the ageing process causing some discomfort initially which if not corrected can lead to major complications.
National Eye Institute highlights such vision problems and suggests possible treatment options. Early identification and management is the key to avoid age-related impairment of vision.

Presbyopia is the eye condition characterized by the inability to see close objects or small prints clearly. It’s a natural phenomenon taking place slowly as we age.

  • Symptoms

Symptoms are generally noticed around 40ties.

ü  Holding reading material far away at arm’s distance

ü  Inability to see closer objects clearly

ü  Difficulty in reading small print

ü  Headache and eyestrain

  • Cause

With ageing lenses lose their elasticity and get to harden. Lenses holding surrounding muscles also ages. Due to all these factors, it’s harder for lenses to reshape and focus image on a retina while seeing near object.

  • Treatment

Consult an eye specialist as soon as you notice above symptoms. Correction with contact lenses or glasses is the simplest and safest way to manage a problem.

Cataract is the clouding of part or entire lens that affects the vision. The condition is very common in older people and major cause for blindness if neglected.

  • Symptoms

ü  Blurring of vision

ü  Glare:  Light may appear too bright

ü  Frequent changes in contact lenses or glasses

ü  Double vision or multiple images

ü  Inability to see clearly in the night

  • Cause

As the person ages, protein constituents of a lens lump together and form small clouding. As time passes, clouding enlarges and lens becomes totally opaque. Light coming from object cannot pass through opaque lens and person experiences impaired vision.
Protein wear and tear, diabetes, smoking, alcohol, and prolonged exposure to sunlight are some of the causes that facilitate clouding of the lens.

  • Treatment

Surgery is the only effective treatment strategy for cataract.”Phacoemulsification” or “Phaco," a small incision cataract surgery is a popular choice among cataract sufferers.

Dry eye
Dry eye develops due to inability of the eye to produce tears properly or tears are of not good consistency or evaporate too quickly.
Condition can lead to pain, redness, ulcer and scar on the cornea.

  • Symptoms

ü  Burning sensation in the eye

ü  Irritation as if something presents in the eye

ü  Pain, redness and stringy discharge

ü  Blurring of vision

ü  Repeated eye fatigue

  • Cause

Ageing process naturally reduces tear production. Condition is common in women after menopause due to hormonal changes.
Now a day’s constant working on computer is a leading cause of dry eye and computer vision eye syndrome.

  • Treatment

Use of artificial tears moisturizes eye and anti-inflammatory medications prevent ulcer and scarring.

Glaucoma is the eye condition that can lead to vision loss due to optic nerve damage, a nerve of the eye that transmit the visual information from retina to brain.

  • Symptoms

ü  Inability to see peripheral part of an object

ü  If not treated, unable to see the object from side of the eye

ü  Central loss of vision

  • Cause

Anterior chamber, a space in front of the eye is filled with a fluid which nourishes nearby tissues. Whenever there is a problem with drainage of fluid, it gets accumulated in a chamber and increases eye pressure. Persistent increase in the eye pressure damages optic nerve leading to blindness.

  • Treatment

Medicated eye drops help in lowering fluid pressure either by increasing drainage or by decreasing secretion.
Laser and conventional surgery are surgical options for glaucoma.

Floaters are tiny spots or speck that floats in the field of vision. Mostly, they move with eye movement and notice in bright.

  • Symptoms

ü  Small dark spots or thread-like strands in field of vision

ü  Move rapidly away from the path when you try to look directly at them

  • Cause

Floaters occur during ageing due to shrinking of vitreous, a gel-like substance that fills the eye and maintains round shape. It may be associated with retinal detachment.

  • Treatment

Generally, no treatment is required as they settled down at the bottom of eye. Vitrectomy; a surgical procedure to remove vitreous is advised when floaters are dense and significantly affect vision.

Diabetic retinopathy
Diabetes is a very common disease particularly in middle aged, and experts believe that among known diabetics over age of 40, approximately 40 percent have some degree of diabetic retinopathy.
It is important to keep you blood sugar level under control to avoid advance vision –threatening retinopathy.

Dealing with age related vision changes
A healthy diet and lifestyle choices including quit smoking, controlled drinking and regular exercise are best natural guards against vision loss as you age. Not only that regular eye examination is must to keep a track of your vision related problems and do a surgery; if needed on time.

If you are noticing any of the above-mentioned symptoms, make an appointment with your eye specialist- ophthalmologist to prevent future consequences. Prevention is better than Cure.

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