60s+ Eye Concerns

Your eyesight changes as you get older, sometimes significantly – that’s why regular eye exams are even more important as we age. Don't skip your recommended annual eye exams. Many eye diseases have no early symptoms; they may be painless, and you may see no change in your vision until the disease has become quite advanced. If you are experiencing any unusual vision symptoms, see your eye care professional immediately.

Here are some things to pay attention to: 

Dry Eyes

Do your eyes feel drier than normal? Your tear glands may have lost some ability to produce moisture and keep your eyes properly lubricated. Certain medications may also cause eye dryness. Artificial-tear eye drops work like real tears to moisturize and alleviate the discomfort of dry eye symptoms.

Loss of Peripheral Vision

If you’ve noticed that you don’t have the side-to-side vision you’re used to, this may be an early sign of glaucoma. Glaucoma often develops with no symptoms, making it difficult for patients to detect until significant (and potentially irreversible) damage has been done. For this reason, it is important to frequently be checked by an eye doctor for ocular hypertension (a condition with high pressure in the eye which can mean a person is at high risk for glaucoma).

Cloudy or Distorted Vision

If your vision seems dim or you’re having trouble reading, watching television, or just seeing what’s around you – even when you’re wearing your glasses or contact lenses – you may have cataracts in one or both eyes. Most of us will develop cataracts as we age because our eyes’ lenses become more and more opaque as we get older. While cataracts can occur as a result of other eye diseases, they mostly develop naturally with age. In fact, by age 65, many of us will develop a cataract. Most cataracts can be treated by your ophthalmologist, who may replace your eye’s lens with an intraocular lens (IOL).

Crystalens AO Lens is an artificial lens implant that can treat both a person's cataracts and presbyopia —the clouding or hardening of your lenses, and the loss of near and intermediate vision, respectively. Crystalens AO was modeled after the human eye. Like the natural lens, it is a lens implant that uses the eye muscle to flex and accommodate in order to focus on objects in the environment at all distances.

Dark or Empty Area in the Central Area of Vision

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) causes damage to the macula, a part of the retina that gives us the sharp central vision we need to perform activities that require high-definition, straight-ahead vision. So, what you see up close or at a distance may be blurry or hazy. Brighter light may be needed when reading or it may be difficult to adapt from bright light to low light. As the disease advances, there may be dark or blank spots in vision or faces may become blurry.

Floating Spots and Flashes of Light

Many of us see spots, specks, and other things that look like dark bits of string floating in our eyes on occasion. These are actually cells and fibers in the vitreous, gel-like part of your eye. Floaters are most often isolated occurrences that are a normal part of vision. However, if they become more frequent, and are accompanied by eye flashes – bursts or streaks of light similar to the “stars” you may see after taking a blow to the head – this may be a sign of an impending retinal detachment. This is very serious and should be brought to the attention of an eye care professional immediately.

Low Vision/Vision Loss

While regular eye examinations and early diagnosis of eye disease can save much of your vision, in some cases, you may already have incurred some vision loss before you see your doctor and begin treatment. Low vision is a condition that can’t be corrected with eye glasses, contact lenses, or surgery. There are many products and devices such as magnifiers that can help people with low vision. In addition, some eye care professionals specialize in rehabilitation for low vision, so ask your eye doctor for recommendations.

Diabetes and Your Eyes

Having type 1 or type 2 diabetes may put you at risk for common diabetes-related eye problems, including cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic macular edema (DME). At first, you may not experience any symptoms – the type of damage that is most commonly associated with diabetes happens gradually, and may not necessarily be noticed. If you have diabetes you should have your eyes examined regularly to help identify any eye health issues early.

Ocular Allergies

If you suffer from red, watery, itchy eyes, ask your doctor about Doctor's Allergy Formula diagnostic test. The FDA-approved in-office Doctor’s Allergy Formula diagnostic test enables eye care professionals to test for allergies that may be the underlying cause of your eye allergies or irritations.