Eyes arenot exempt from the wear and tear of aging. Eyesight tends to deteriorate more gradually than suddenly. In fact, the warning signs of loss of vision in adults can be so subtle that you don’t even notice them. But being aware of certain warning signs can help you take appropriate steps to maintain your eyesight, particularly if vision problemsoccur suddenly. Regular eye check ups are the best way to avoid vision problems, even as you grow older. In many cases, such as with retina problems or rapid onset of glaucoma, prompt intervention is essential to avoid or minimize permanent loss of vision.
In any case, while some of these vision issues might be unavoidable, particularly in case that they run in your family, a significant number of the side effects can be decreased if certain warning signs are identified in time and you take proper steps to monitor your vision regularly. Here are a few common vision problems and side effects that many people experience with advancing age that may indicate a serious problem in the long run:
1. Eye Pain
Pain, strain or fatigue in the eyes, especially when driving, watching TV and playing video games for long spans, are indicators of significant eye issues. Most eye disorders are painless, but some conditions or injuries can result in pain. Eye pain can be caused by Glaucoma, Dry eye, eye injury, scratched cornea, or even eye cancer. Moreover, Redness or pain in the eyefollowed by nausea andvomiting are known symptoms of Narrow-angle Glaucoma.
2. Blurred vision
If you experience sudden blurred vision in one eye, this could be a sign of a macular hole in the retina. Without the right treatment, this can deteriorate and cause an irreversible loss of sight. Even if it clears up, blurred vision can be a sign of a number of eye problems such as Glaucoma, Uveitis, a torn retina, or AMD (Age related Macular Degeneration). Losing vision in one eye might be an early manifestation of a Brain stroke. In the event that you are seeing changes in the clarity of your vision and experience difficultyreading, sewing or performing other nearsighted tasks, beware of other potential symptoms of diabetes or high blood pressure. Unexplained loss of vision is commonly a consequence of diabetic retinopathy, a condition that occurs in people having uncontrolled diabetes or high blood pressure.
3. Shadows or Halos
It is a common symptom of retinal detachment. It can seem like there is a sheer curtain blocking your vision. The sudden onset of flashes of light, seeing small specks or threads called ‘floaters’, a shadow in your peripheral(side) vision, or a gray curtain moving across your field of vision could be signs of detaching of the retina. Retinal detachment is treatable, but you need to act fast. Without immediate consultation with an eye specialist, such a condition can cause permanent loss of sight.
4. Dark patch appearing at the center of your vision
If you notice a gradual loss of your central vision, you may be suffering from Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of loss of vision among people over 50 years of age. Other symptoms include seeing wavy lines instead of straight, trouble reading street signs, changes in color perception and struggling to “look around” a dark patch at the center of your vision.
5. Brownish Tint in Your Vision
This type of vision change may be due to cataracts, which tends to worsen gradually over time. Cataracts are so common among seniors that by 80 years of age, over half of the population will either have cataracts or have gone through surgery for cataract removal. Although not a medical emergency, cataracts if left untreated will eventually result in complete loss of vision. Other symptoms include being irritated by the glare of sun or lights, seeing halos around lights, and poor night vision.
If you have any of these symptoms of vision problems, you should consult an eye specialist before the problem increases or becomes irreversible. Almost all of these vision problems are treatable. Make regular appointments with your eye doctor to keep a check on your eyes and maintain healthy vision.