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Senior Health and Wellness - Common Eye Problems

Feb 15, 2018 by Comfort Keepers of San Marcos

There are many eye conditions that become more likely with age, so educating yourself on what you’re at risk for will best help you maintain your vision as much as possible.

Common Eye Conditions and Problems For Seniors 

Floaters

If you’ve ever had something in your eye or some dirt on your contact lens and saw how it changed your vision, you can probably guess what floaters are. These are spots of buildup that float in your eye fluid and sometimes get in your line of vision. They’re most noticeable in very well lit rooms or outside on a sunny day. They’re mostly normal, but it’s important to get them checked out just in case.

If you see flashes of light in addition to these spots, talk to your doctor immediately, as this may be a sign that your retina detached from the back of your eye.

Tearing

This condition occurs when your eyes create too many tears. This can happen with temperature changes, light sensitivity, or wind sensitivity. It’s important to shield your eyes from these when at all possible. If guarding your eyes from these environments doesn’t help, you have a blocked tear duct or some sort of infection, in which your eye doctor needs to intervene.

Presbyopia

This condition makes it extremely difficult to see objects up close or read small print. It doesn’t happen out of nowhere; it gradually worsens over a span of many years. Most people don’t realize their vision is changing until they’re about 40 years old. This condition can’t be “cured,” but can be aided quite easily with contacts or glasses.

Dry eyes

This occurs when your tear ducts aren’t making high-quality tears, or not making enough tears. This can lead to itchy, burning eyes. Vision loss is not normal with dry eyes, but it can occur after a prolonged period of time. Common remedies are special eye drops or getting a humidifier for the home to moisten the air. Surgery is also an option in extreme cases.

Cataracts

This occurs when part or of all of your eye’s lens becomes clouded, thus making your vision cloudy. It can occur in one or both eyes. They tend to build up over time painlessly, so you don’t even really notice them until your vision is substantially cloudy.

If they’re small and not affecting your vision, they’re fine. If they are interfering, you can get surgery to replace the cloudy lens with a new, clear artificial one.

Eyelid problems

Anything from twitchy or droopy eyelids can prevent them from doing their job correctly, and that’s to protect your eyes. Medication and surgery can typically help with whatever problem needs to be fixed here.

Glaucoma

Too much pressure on the inside of your eye leads to this. The pressure occurs from the obstruction of flow of liquid from your cornea to your lens and vice versa. Catching it early is important, as prolonged pressure and improper fluid drainage can lead to vision loss, as bad as blindness.

Symptoms don’t appear early on, so getting your eyes checked regularly is very important. A simple pressure test can help detect the presence of glaucoma.

Conjunctivitis

Also called pink eye, this occurs when the tissue covering your eye gets inflamed. It can make your eye itchy, red, and teary, and it might feel like you’ve got something stuck in there that you can’t get out. Many things can cause this, from allergies to chemical exposure.

If you suspect you’re experiencing any of the above conditions or have any other eye concerns, make an appointment with your eye doctor.

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