Many people experience changes in their vision as they age. In fact, over 12 million people over the age of 40 in the U.S. have some form of eye impairment, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Changes in vision can feel jarring or worrisome, but for the most part, these changes are a normal part of aging and with proper treatment can be repaired or corrected with proper lenses. Although these changes may not be life-threatening, they can impact your quality of life and should be discussed with a vision specialist. Visiting a specialist at Florida Eye Center can help you stay on top of your ocular health and determine the best course of action if you are experiencing changes in your vision.
Related: How Often Should I Get an Eye Exam
According to researchers with the University of Alabama, the curved lens at the front of the eye is a common area to notice damage. This lens bends to focus light, which allows you to see various differences. However, this lens can harden or stiffen over time, sometimes starting as young as age 20 or occurring more slowly over time, and can cause presbyopia.
Presbyopia is trouble focusing on up-close images or objects — you might associate this with your mother or grandmother’s reading glasses, but anyone over the age of 35 is at risk of developing this issue. This can be resolved by wearing corrective lenses which can be prescribed by an ophthalmologist.
Related: How Can I Prevent Cataracts?
Another common age-related issue is the clouding of the lens. A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens, the part responsible for focusing light and producing clear, sharp images. This results in blurry, clouded vision that may cause you to feel a loss of independence as cataracts can make it difficult to drive or read. For most people, cataracts are a natural result of aging, though certain conditions such as diabetes, ocular inflammation, and ocular trauma may cause them to form earlier in life.
Cataracts can be removed with a fairly simple procedure called phacoemulsification, which removes the cataract through a small incision and implants an artificial lens. Surgery is performed in an outpatient setting and typically takes around 15 minutes to complete.
As you age, you may notice that you need brighter lights in order to see, or you may find it increasingly difficult to see and drive at night. This is because the tiny muscles in the eye that control the pupil’s ability to widen and shrink may weaken, resulting in seemingly shrunken pupils.
Any time there is difficulty seeing in the darkness, it can be frustrating. The feeling of loss of independence related to difficulty seeing can cause increased anxiety. If you have issues with night-driving or vision loss, especially in bright light, it is important to consult an optical specialist in Tampa.
It is important to stay on top of your eye health as you age. This will not only ensure that your independence is preserved, but can also keep others safe as your vision may change while driving. Consult the specialists at the Florida Eye Center and schedule an appointment today.
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