As you gracefully grow older, life brings with it several twists and turns – most of them happy, some of them not so much. While you become wise and mature with age, there are certain natural functions of the body that start to diminish gradually.
One such essential function is your vision. Certain people suffer from vision problems from a very young age, some develop it over a period of time. Many are prone to age-related eye problems, especially post 50 years of age. With age, it becomes extremely important to pay attention to the various eye disorders and diseases.
Here are a few things you need to make sure you do it regularly:
1. Schedule regular eye check-ups, especially when you cross the age of 50.
2. See an ophthalmologist to detect eye problems early so they can be treated accordingly.
3. Undergo an eye examination with pupil dilation once every year, especially if you are diabetic.
Apart from the frequent check-ups and follow-ups with a certified ophthalmologist, it is also important that you take good care of your eyes on a daily basis, here’s how you can do that:
1. Cutting down on the time spent looking at screens (television, laptop, phone, tablet, etc.)
2. Taking breaks while doing tasks like reading, watching TV or using a phone.
3. Understanding your family’s eye history and sharing the same with your ophthalmologist.
4. Eating fresh fruits and veggies regularly.
5. Staying away from detrimental habits like smoking or other substance abuse.
6. Wearing high-quality sunglasses when you step out in the sun.
7. Taking extra care in case of conditions like high cholesterol, blood pressure, and diabetes.
8. Wearing your glasses (if applicable) and contact lenses (as advised) and keeping them clean.
Age-related eye problems: Signs, symptoms, care, and cure
Here is a list of different eye diseases related to old age and ways to identify, address and manage them effectively.
● Dry eyes
A common eye disorder, dry eyes mean that your tear glands are unable to produce an adequate amount of tears, or that the quality of tears is poor (yes, tears are important too). The itchy and uncomfortable sensation caused due to dry eyes can be quite irritating to deal with. While this is a very common condition, it can result in loss of vision if not treated on time. Your doctor might prescribe eye drops that help stimulate tears (or surgery, in serious cases). You could also consider installing a humidifier in your house/room and car, in order to maintain essential humidity levels indoors at all times.
Ever experienced mild headaches or fatigued eyes when reading the newspaper or novels with small font sizes? The condition is called presbyopia and it usually develops over a long period of time. You might have seen a lot of spectacled people reading the newspaper at an arm’s length – that’s right, they have presbyopia. The most common way to correct this disorder is by using reading glasses.
● Temporal arteritis
As the name suggests, in this condition, the arteries in your forehead (or temple region) and other body parts can get inflamed or blocked. The most common symptoms include chronic fever, long-lasting and throbbing headaches, sensitivity in the temple region, scalp irritation and sudden pain while chewing food. If you experience these symptoms, it is best to consult your doctor immediately, since temporal arteritis can result in a sudden loss of vision if left untreated.
● Age-related macular degeneration
A leading cause of vision impairment across the globe, this number is set to hit the roof in the next two years. Attacking the central vision of a person, macular degeneration can restrict the individual’s ability to read, write, drive or do regular activities that call for a sharp and focused macula (centre of the retina).
There are two primary types of macular degeneration:
o Dry: This type of degeneration targets one eye at a time and gradually makes the light-sensitive cells weaker.
o Wet: This type creates a massive blind spot through the center of your field of vision by leaking undesirable fluids and blood under the retina.
Other possible eye-related problems that are associated with aging include Glaucoma, Conjunctivitis, Cataracts, Retinal Detachment, Corneal Diseases, and Floaters.
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