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How vision loss affects seniors

As you get older, you may experience vision problems as your eye tissue weakens and deteriorates. In fact, it’s estimated that one in nine people develop irreversible vision loss by the age of 65.

That number increases to one in four people by the age of 75. Here’s what you should know about vision loss among seniors.

 

Causes of vision loss

There are four common causes of age-related vision loss and blindness:

  • Cataracts. The lenses in your eyes can become cloudy over time, disrupting the way light passes through them and obstructing your vision.
  • Glaucoma. Damage to the optic nerve, usually caused by abnormally high pressure inside the eye, can lead to permanent vision loss and blindness if not treated.
  • Macular degeneration.As you get older, the area near the centre of the retina that allows you to see details can deteriorate, causing blurred vision and vision loss.
  • Diabetic retinopathy. This complication of diabetes damages the back of the eye and can eventually lead to floaters, blind spots and total vision loss if left untreated.

Regular eye exams help ensure the early detection and treatment of these conditions. If you have diabetes, be sure to schedule an annual diabetic eye exam.

 

Associated risks of vision loss

 

Age-related vision loss and blindness can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. Among other things, seniors with vision loss are more likely to suffer serious falls that result in broken bones. They also tend to move into nursing homes earlier than seniors with good vision, and they have a higher risk of depression.

 

Available treatments

 

In many cases, age-related vision loss can be mitigated or reversed if treated early. For example, surgery can completely remove cataracts to restore vision. Similarly, eye drops and surgery can reduce pressure in the eye caused by glaucoma.

In cases where vision loss is irreversible, there are a variety of tools that can be used to improve the person’s quality of life. Telescopic glasses, special lenses that filter light and magnifiers mounted on glasses or a headband can all be used to enhance poor vision.

Additionally, electronic devices such as e-readers, tablets and smartphones can be adjusted to display large, dark fonts that are easier to read.

 

Eye care for seniors in Edmonton

 

If you or a loved one is experiencing age-related vision loss, it’s important to schedule an eye exam as soon as possible. Contact us today to find an Optometrists’ Clinic location near you.

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