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Eye Concerns for Aging Adults

It’s no secret that as we grow older, we become increasingly susceptible to a wide array of health problems. The aging process has a particularly strong effect on the eyes, leaving patients vulnerable to conditions like presbyopia, dry eye, age-related macular degeneration, and more. Keep reading to explore some of the most common eye problems in older adults, and the ways they can be avoided.

  1. Presbyopia. This condition involves a loss of the ability to focus on close-up objects clearly, and typically starts to appear at around age 40. As presbyopia affects nearly everyone, it cannot typically be prevented. However, there are some steps you can take to protect your vision, like undergoing regular eye examinations, wearing sunglasses, having a healthy diet, and more.
  2. Cataracts. Cataracts are defined as a clouding of the eye’s naturally-clear lens, and is the leading cause of vision loss in patients over the age of 40. To help prevent the onset of this condition, doctors recommend regular eye exams, wearing sunglasses, avoiding smoking, reducing alcohol use, maintaining a healthy weight, selecting a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and more.
  3. Age-related macular degeneration. Involving the breakdown or deterioration of the eye’s macula over time, this condition can leave patients with blurriness, distorted central vision, and more. To prevent or slow the progression of this condition, it’s important to avoid smoking and have a diet that includes dark and leafy green vegetables. Recent studies have also shown that fish and foods rich in vitamin D can help protect older patients from macular degeneration.
  4. Glaucoma. Glaucoma is a common condition that damages the eye’s optic nerve, and is most commonly associated with a buildup of fluid pressure in the eye. This condition can develop silently, so routine exams are one of the most important tools in the prevention of glaucoma damage. Studies have also shown that exercise can help reduce intraocular pressure, so it may be beneficial to speak to your doctor about beginning an exercise regimen.
  5. Dry eye. Dry eye occurs when a patient doesn’t have enough tears to nourish and lubricate the eye, or if the tears they do have are of poor quality. There are some ways to help prevent dry eye symptoms, which can include using a humidifier to add moisture to the air, giving your eyes a periodic breaks from long tasks, and avoiding smoke whenever possible.

Ophthalmologist in Winchester

For more information about the eye concerns unique to older patients, contact us today and schedule an appointment. Our offices are located in Winchester, serving Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland, and you can reach us directly at (540) 722-6200. We look forward to hearing from you!

Posted in: Dry Eye Care/Restasis, Eye Health, Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration, Presbyopia

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