Ageing and your eyes
You may have noticed your vision changing since you entered your 40s. You might now need glasses to help you read or you may feel that your arms are not quite long enough. Maybe you have trouble adjusting to glare. These midlife changes are a normal part of ageing and alone they won’t stop you from enjoying your independence or an active lifestyle. In fact, you can live actively well into your golden years without ever experiencing severe vision loss. However, as you age the risk of developing age-related eye diseases and conditions increases. These can include: cataracts, AMD (age-related macular degeneration), dry eye, glaucoma, and diabetic eye disease.
We would recommend that everyone over the age of 50 should visit an opticians for a comprehensive eye examination. So many eye diseases have no early warning signs or symptoms. A detailed exam can detect eye diseases in their early stages before vision loss occurs. In fact our Ocular Coherence Tomographer (OCT) can detect less obvious signs, often not visible using traditional examination methods and certainly before you experience any symptoms. The OCT uses high wavelength light reflected from the retina to create a cross section of the retina, much like an ultrasound machine uses sound waves. This is much more accurate at detecting and monitoring changes.
Here at Valli Opticians we recommend the use of this modern technology to ensure your eyes are healthy, or to monitor any pathology or ageing changes. We can also check the progression of certain eye conditions. Our Optometrists often use OCT to decide the most appropriate time to refer you to a specialist, should the changes progress.
Common Age-related Eye Diseases and Conditions
AMD (age-related macular degeneration) is a disease which is associated with ageing. It gradually destroys sharp, central vision. Central vision is required for seeing objects clearly and for common daily tasks such as reading and driving.
Dry eye can be a chronic problem and occurs when the eye does not produce tears properly, or when the tears are not of the correct consistency and evaporate too quickly. Dry eye can make it more difficult to perform some activities, such as using a computer or reading for an extended period of time. Dry Eye will never be completely cured but the symptoms of the condition can be easily managed and treated with our tailor-made programme.
Glaucoma is actually a group of diseases that damage the eye’s optic nerve (the nerves which transmit impulses to the brain from the retina at the back of the eye). The damage to the optic nerve results in vision loss and sometimes blindness. Glaucoma is often associated with increased pressure in the eye and affects side or peripheral vision.
Diabetic eye disease is a complication which can occur for those who suffer with diabetes and it is a leading cause of blindness. The most common form is diabetic retinopathy which causes damage to the tiny blood vessels inside the retina.
At Valli Opticians we believe that early detection and treatment of all these conditions and many more can help you save your vision. An eye examination can also detect signs of non optical conditions such as High cholesterol and blood pressure, Multiple sclerosis MS, and Alzheimer’s.
Even if you aren’t experiencing any obvious vision problems, we would recommend that you visit your eye care professional regularly for a detailed eye examination. He or she will tell you how often you need to have one depending on your specific risk factors.