When it comes to your eyes, vision weakness from diseases like macular degeneration should make you take notice of these 7 warning signs of age-related eye problems and what you can do. The more you know the more chances you have to prevent eye problems from advancing in yourself or a loved one.
Some Stats, But Don’t Panic
Occupational Health and Safety cites a recent report that estimates “more than 142 million Americans older than 40 have vision problems.” Some of those suffering ignore their symptoms or don’t even know they have any. This can be dangerous and could possibly lead to blindness.
There are a wide variety of symptoms that may apply to you in one way or another. Keep in mind these warning signs would most likely be an indication of something more serious if they frequently occur. A duration of once per month or so may not be a problem. However, it is always best to see your eye doctor if you feel concerned as well as stick to frequent checkups.
What to Look For
These are the 7 warning signs of age-related eye problems.
Field of View Reduction
Narrowing of your full spectrum vision could be a sign of glaucoma. It may feel like you have horse blinders on. Tell your eye doctor of this system so you can get a glaucoma test.
This is the term given to the presentation of small shadow-like dots, as one or several, darting in and out of your field of vision. If these occur suddenly and invade your sight continually you may have a serious condition and should see your eye doctor right away. If these floaters are something you experience throughout the day in your periphery it could be a benign (not serious) condition called vitreous detachment. See your doctor.
A retinal detachment may result in seeming as if an opaque, dark curtain has been pulled over your field of view. If you experience this you may need to have an emergency retina reattachment that can only be done within a few hours. Failure to do so could result in permanent blindness.
If your direct vision is slowly becoming weak, including seeing lines as wavy, this could be the beginning of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Eye care advancement has enabled successful treatment of some AMD cases.
Cloudiness, Halos, Bright Color Weakness
The major symptoms of developing cataracts are blurry or cloudy vision; halo’s or rings around night lighting; and diminishment of bright colors. Cataracts can be removed but the sooner they are addressed, the better, as they can harden making them difficult to treat.
Blind Spots, Blurriness, Eye floaters
Sometimes associated with diabetes, blind spots, blurriness and eye floaters should not be ignored. If you have diabetes, especially if you are over 60, or are just experiencing these symptoms see your eye doctor immediately and maintain regular checkups.
Scratchy, Dry, Irritation
Don’t be fooled by scratchy, irritated eyes being a symptom of allergies or environmental influences as instead this could be dry eye syndrome. It is a condition easily remedied with over the counter re-wetting drops or prescription formulas your eye doctor can recommend.
Live to See
Staying on top of your overall health can significantly reduce your chances of developing age-related eye problems. As mentioned, eye checkups are essential to maintain healthy vision but there are other ways you can support your eyes simply by what you choose to eat. Try for a majority of dark green leafy vegetables particularly kale, spinach and collard greens; carrots, including carrot juice; and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids such as tuna, halibut and salmon.
Watch your weight. It seems like everyone has a weight challenge and for good reason. Most people eat poorly and struggle with all sorts of overweight related issues including the potential for vision weakness. This should especially be a concern if you have diabetes. Lose some weight so your optical tissue doesn’t become compromised.
Other ways to keep your vision healthy include: taking breaks from computer or cell phone screen time; staying active, particularly with something aerobic; women should always remove makeup to avoid bacteria buildup that can infect eyes; make sure you have enough light when reading; and keep current on your lens as well as other eye related prescriptions.
Hopefully these 7 warning signs of age-related eye problems and what you can do will help you maintain years of strong, clear, healthy vision.