Eye troubles are among the first signs of aging. Reduction in light sensitivity, need for brighter light to do normal chores, and dimness or haziness of vision are very common as age advances. Older people usually find it difficult to read smaller prints without the help of glasses or a magnifying glass because the lenses of their eyes lose elasticity and cannot focus properly. Eye disorders like cataract, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and floaters have to be taken care of with the help of an ophthalmologist.
After a certain age, the lenses of the eyes tend to become cloudy due to degenerative changes. This condition is known as cataract. People with cataract find it difficult to see things clearly at night and in dim light. They have fuzzy and foggy vision and even see halos around light sources. Many of them also suffer from double vision and lose their ability to differentiate between colors. The only treatment option for cataract is surgery.
In some aged people, the optic nerve (responsible for the transfer of visual information from the eye to the brain) gets damaged due to elevated fluid pressure in the eyes. This is known as glaucoma. The consequences of glaucoma on the eye are loss of side vision, eye pain or discomfort, and poor night vision. If you are a senior citizen, you must get your intraocular pressure measured by visiting your eye doctor at regular intervals.
The macula, a part of the retina that controls the visual field, deteriorates with age and a blind spot forms in the center, thereby affecting vision severely. This disorder is known AMD or age related macular degeneration. Its general symptoms are poor eyesight in dim light, distortion of images, haziness of vision, and dullness of colors.
With age, the viscosity of the vitreous humor also reduces and it becomes liquid. This causes small clumps of gel, fibers, and cells to float around, which are known as floaters. In small numbers, they usually indicate no major problem; however, in some cases, they could be a sign of retinal tear, retinal detachment, or eye melanoma. Wearing sunglasses can help to protect the eyes against harmful ultraviolet rays in sunlight, which have been implicated in the development of a number of eye disorders. An antioxidant-rich diet is also recommended.