While eye problems, such as glaucoma and cataracts, can occur at any age, most visual problems are more likely to occur as you grow older. Regular eye exams are the best way to detect eye problems early on so that you can avoid the deterioration or total loss of your sight.
There are certain symptoms that indicate the onset of visual problems that can notify you that you need medical intervention. Here is a look at several symptoms that could warn you of serious eye-related problems as you age.
Spots and floaters
Spots and floaters in your field of vision aren't uncommon as you age, and are often attributed to a condition called vitreous detachment. This condition basically causes the shrinkage of your retina, which is where the processing of vision occurs. As you age, the gel-like interior of your eye also liquefies, resulting in distorted vision.
This is usually a gradual, benign condition that doesn't necessarily threaten your vision, as deterioration of sight with age is inevitable. However, if you notice a sudden flood of spots and floaters in your vision, this could indicate an injury or tear to the retina that could be sight-threatening, so you should see an optometrist, like the ones at Langley Optometry Clinic, for treatment immediately.
Cloudy and blurred sight
Are you seeing halos around light or experiencing gradually increased cloudy vision? These are usually symptoms of cataracts, which are cells that form over the lens of your eye and cloud your vision. Cataracts occur naturally as you age, and aren't usually a medical emergency.
However, if the condition gets to the point where vision is extremely blurred, accompanied by a loss of bright color vision, it would be advisable to talk to an optometrist about cataract surgery, which clears your field of vision and extends your eyesight.
Cataract surgery replaces the obstructed natural lens with an artificial intraocular lens. Although cataracts aren't immediately sight-threatening, postponing their removal for too long could cause other complications such as glaucoma, while delaying surgery for extended periods could make the cataracts harden and thus get tougher to remove.
Eye surface pain and irritation
As you age, your eyes produce less and less tears, leading to a condition called dry eye syndrome. This causes your eyes to feel 'scratchy' which could be a nuisance, if nothing else. However, the condition can get severe with age, leading to pain and severe irritation of the cornea.
If experiencing such severe symptoms, visit an eye care practitioner for diagnosis and treatment. In most cases, dry eye syndrome can be kept under control using drugs and eye drops.