Watch your eye health as you age

Maroochy Weekly - - DISCOVER BUDERIM | ADVERTISING FEATURE -

Keep your eye on the ball and pre­serve your sight as you age, from Op­tom­e­try Aus­tralia.

AF­TER 40 it’s nor­mal to ex­pe­ri­ence changes to your vision.

Adults are also at a great risk of cer­tain eye con­di­tions.

Symp­toms to look out for af­ter 40:

Blurred text and the need to read the news­pa­per at arm’s length, or closer to your eyes to see clearer.

Poor con­cen­tra­tion, eye strain, headaches or tired­ness from read­ing or other close work.

Signs can in­clude spots in your vision, sud­den eye pain or red­ness, dis­torted and dou­ble vision and reg­u­larly bump­ing into or spilling things.

Five ma­jor eye con­di­tions among the over 40s:

1. Pres­by­opia causes grad­ual loss of the abil­ity to change the shape of the lens of our eye, to fo­cus at nor­mal read­ing dis­tance. While pres­by­opia can­not be pre­vented, it can be eas­ily treated by us­ing cor­rectly pre­scribed read­ing glasses or con­tact lenses.

2. Glau­coma causes pro­gres­sive dam­age to the op­tic nerve cells, of­ten due to pres­sure in­side the eye, caus­ing loss of pe­riph­eral vision. You may not know if you have glau­coma un­til ir­re­versible dam­age has been done, so it must be treated early. It can also be hered­i­tary.

3. AMD (age-re­lated mac­u­lar de­gen­er­a­tion) causes the cen­tral retina to de­te­ri­o­rate, dis­tort­ing cen­tral vision. Your chance of de­vel­op­ing AMD is much higher if it runs in your fam­ily. While it can­not be cured com­pletely, there is some treat­ment avail­able which must be started early.

4. Cataracts are the cloud­ing of the lens in­side the eye, caus­ing grad­ual loss of vision. Cataracts are very com­mon and can be eas­ily re­moved and re­placed with a plas­tic lens via surgery.

5. Di­a­betic retinopa­thy – di­a­betes can start to af­fect the blood ves­sels at the back of your eye which can cause se­ri­ous vision loss. Di­a­betic retinopa­thy should be de­tected and treated early and can re­quire laser treat­ment.

Ad­vice to over-40s from Op­tom­e­try Aus­tralia:

Know your eyes. Be aware of the health of your eyes, and how your vision is af­fect­ing your ev­ery­day life, by learn­ing the warn­ing signs and look­ing for changes.

Have your eyes tested reg­u­larly by an op­tometrist. You may not know when you have a se­ri­ous eye con­di­tion and af­ter 40 your pre­scrip­tion is likely to change sig­nif­i­cantly. The ear­lier eye con­di­tions are de­tected, the greater the chance of suc­cess­ful treat­ment and re­tain­ing your vision.

If you think you may have a prob­lem with your eyes or vision, con­sult an op­tometrist im­me­di­ately. Your op­tometrist can pro­vide a com­pre­hen­sive eye ex­am­i­na­tion to de­tect, di­ag­nose and treat eye health prob­lems, and to pre­scribe glasses or con­tact lenses where re­quired.

Vision at 60:

While ag­ing af­fects the health of our eyes, poor eye health should not be ac­cepted as a way of life. There are sev­eral pre­dom­i­nant eye con­di­tions to look out for from about 60 years of age.

You may not know you have a prob­lem un­til se­ri­ous, ir­re­versible dam­age has been done.

Among the over 60s, vision prob­lems can also in­crease the like­li­hood of other prob­lems such as de­pres­sion and falls. Some peo­ple avoid eye tests be­cause they think there is noth­ing that can be done. How­ever, reg­u­lar eye tests can de­tect many con­di­tions in their early stages.

Four ma­jor eye con­di­tions among over-60s:

1. Glau­coma: dam­age to the op­tic nerve cells, of­ten due to pres­sure in­side the eye, caus­ing loss of pe­riph­eral vision. Glau­coma may not al­ways be self-de­tected and must be treated early to pre­vent pro­gres­sive and ir­re­versible dam­age.

2. Cataract: cloud­ing of the lens in­side the eye, usu­ally the re­sult of long-term UV ex­po­sure and ag­ing, caus­ing grad­ual loss of vision. Cataracts are very com­mon and can be eas­ily re­moved.

3. AMD (age-re­lated mac­u­lar de­gen­er­a­tion): cen­tral retina de­te­ri­o­rates, dis­tort­ing close vision. Your chance of de­vel­op­ing AMD is much higher if it runs in your fam­ily. You may not re­alise you have it un­til your cen­tral vision is af­fected.

4. Di­a­betic retinopa­thy: di­a­betes can start to af­fect the blood ves­sels at the back of your eye which can cause se­ri­ous vision loss. Di­a­betic retinopa­thy must be de­tected and treated early.

PHOTO: PEXELS

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