Common Vision Changes Many adults find that “their arms aren’t long enough” Loss of clarity when reading, doing close work, or driving Sensitivity to light More time required to adjust to different light conditions
Benjamin Franklin, famous inventor & presbyope Although not an optometrist, he is credited with inventing bifocals.
Presbyopia Natural age-related eye condition By teen age, the eye stops growing, but cells in the flexible lens of the eye haven’t stopped growing, and this continued growth makes the lens less flexible The lens loses the ability to change focus
Most changes can be treated by your Optometrist Reading glasses Bifocals Trifocals Progressive addition lenses Photo courtesy of National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health
Astigmatism Light rays fail to meet in a focal point which results in blurred vision
Hyperopia Also referred to as farsightedness Ability to see DISTANT objects more clearly than near objects
Myopia Also referred to as nearsightedness Ability to see NEAR objects more clearly than distant objects Photo courtesy of National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health
Spots & Floaters Harmless protein materials floating in inner fluid eye Not serious, but if they appear larger, or as showers of brilliant crystal… May be beginning of serious eye problem such as retinal detachment or high blood pressure or diabetes
Cataracts Cells in lens swell and cloud lens preventing light to reach retina Glasses and contact lenses can improve vision temporarily until surgery is required Photo courtesy of National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health Surgery removes clouded lens, replaces with artificial lens Medicare covers surgery and follow-up care
Diabetic Retinopathy Can weaken, and cause changes in the small blood vessels that nourish the retina, the delicate, light sensitive lining of the back of eye. Blood vessels may begin to leak, swell or develop branches of new vessels. Early stages may cause blurred vision, or may produce no visual symptoms at all. As the disease progresses, symptoms may include cloudiness of vision, blind spots or floaters.
Diabetic Retinopathy If left untreated, can cause blindness. Once damage has occurred, the effects are usually permanent. For people with diabetes, diabetic retinopathy is controllable by taking prescribed medication as instructed, sticking to a diet, exercising regularly, reducing high blood pressure and avoiding alcohol and smoking.
Glaucoma Fluid pressure in eye increases or does not drain properly, results in pressure on the optic nerve No early warning signs Photo courtesy of National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health Blindness can occur if left untreated Vision loss cannot be restored
Ocular Hypertension Increase in pressure in eyes with no detectable changes in vision or damage to eyes Term used to distinguish people with elevated pressure from those with glaucoma Occurs most frequently in those over age 40, African Americans, and those with family histories of ocular hypertension and/or glaucoma as well as in those with diabetes
Ocular Hypertension No noticeable signs or symptoms Not all people with ocular hypertension will develop glaucoma. However, there is an increased risk of glaucoma among those with ocular hypertension No cure for ocular hypertension, however, careful monitoring and treatment can decrease the risk of damage to eyes
Macular Degeneration Leading cause of blindness in U.S. Affects the macula, the area of eye responsible for clear, sharp vision, located at back of eye Symptoms include: gradual loss of ability to see objects clearly, distorted vision, and gradual loss of color vision As disease advances, distorted, dark, or empty area often appears in the center of vision
Macular Degeneration Two kinds: WET- swelling of macula, treatable with anti-inflammatory drugs DRY- age-related degeneration, not treatable, but certain vitamins and minerals may help prevent or slow progression Photo courtesy of National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health Vision loss cannot be restored Low vision devices can be prescribed to make the most out of remaining vision
IMPORTANT! After age 60 an annual, comprehensive eye examination is an important way to maintain eye health.
Benefits of Regular Eye Exams Eye problems and early stages of other diseases can be detected during a comprehensive eye exam. Early detection is the key to preventing irreversible vision loss.