Age-Related Vision Concerns to Watch Out For

AGE-RELATED VISION CONCERNS

A person’s vision can change several times throughout a lifetime. The first changes in vision often occur during childhood or adolescence and may continue to change into a person’s mid- to late 20s. At this point, vision stabilizes for several years. Once individuals reach their 40s, however, their vision usually starts to change again. Here, the team at King LASIK explores age-related vision concerns to watch out for as you reach your 40s, 50s and beyond.

Presbyopia

Do you ever wonder why so many middle-aged adults use reading glasses or bifocals? It is because most people experience presbyopia once they reach their mid- to late 40s. Presbyopia is the difficulty seeing up close as we get older. Among ophthalmologists, the common school of thought is that presbyopia occurs as the eye lens loses its flexibility, becoming more rigid over time. This makes it increasingly difficult for the lens to change focus and see objects up close.

There are a few treatment options for presbyopia. One is to use reading glasses or bifocals, as mentioned above. Another treatment option is to undergo LASIK. When LASIK is performed as a treatment for presbyopia, the Portland laser eye surgeon corrects one eye so that it can see up close. The eye surgeon does not correct the other eye, preserving its ability to see in the distance. Over time and with practice, many patients are able to adjust to this “monovision” and can see objects both up close and in the distance.

Cataracts

A cataract is a gradual clouding of the eye’s lens that eventually impairs vision. A cataract can develop in one or both eyes, but it does not spread from one eye to the other. In its early stages, cataracts can be treated with prescription eyewear. As cataracts progress, however, surgical intervention is needed to remove the cataract-diseased lens and replace it with an artificial lens, or intraocular lens implant, that allows the patient to see clearly after surgery.

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By the age of 80, over half of all Americans either have cataracts or have had cataract surgery. The good news is that cataracts surgery is a relatively simple procedure that can restore clear vision.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

The macula is the small region in the center of the retina that is responsible for central vision. With age, the macula can degenerate, affecting a person’s central vision and ability to see fine details clearly. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of vision loss in adults over the age of 50.

Unfortunately, there is no proven treatment for the dry type of macular degeneration. However, eating healthfully, exercising regularly and visiting your eye doctor for annual exams can help slow and /or manage the condition. In addition, studies have shown that getting ample amounts of certain vitamins and nutrients — including vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc oxide and copper — may help postpone the onset of AMD or slow its progression.

Noticing Changes in Your Vision?

Whether you are in your 20s or 50s, you should contact King LASIK immediately if you notice changes in your vision. Many vision problems can be managed or treated when they are detected early, so don’t ignore visual symptoms in the hope that they will resolve themselves.

To schedule a complimentary assessment of your eye health, please contact King LASIK by calling (877) 551-2020.