EYE HEALTH FOR SENIORS: AGE RELATED EYE CONDITONS AND COPING STRATEGIES

EYE HEALTH FOR SENIORS: AGE RELATED EYE CONDITONS AND COPING STRATEGIES

Age related eye conditions are eye/vision conditions that arise from changes that occur in and around the eyes as one becomes older. These changes occur in both the tissues and cells occupying different position in the eye. They affect vision when areas that are actively involved with vision formation are affected. Maintaining a healthy eye and good vision even at old is almost everyone desire. Although many of these conditions are age related, a healthy lifestyle and good diet can help to protect against some of them. There are several age-related eye conditions namely; presbyopia, cataract, retinopathy, macular degeneration, vitreous detachment, Glaucoma and retinal detachment etc. Amongst these conditions presbyopia and age-related cataract or senile cataract are the commonest.

PRESBYOPIA

 

This is an age-related eye condition that manifest with inability to read tiny prints, thread a needle and do other near works. This results from the weakness of the eye muscles that are responsible for adjusting the shape of the crystalline lens of the eyes to enable an individual to do things like reading, threading a needle, and even chopping vegetables. The age of onset is usually 40 years, although there are instances where it starts earlier or later. There is no gender or race difference in its incidence rate. 

How to Cope with Presbyopia: Presbyopia can be taken care of by the use of reading glasses or reading large fonts prints. A regular eye examination is very useful to rule out other causes of inability to read prints such as macular degeneration or glaucoma.

 

AGE RELATED/SENILE CATARACT

 

This is the opacification of the crystalline lens of the eyes due to advance age. This is caused by denaturation of the protein (collagen) fibres that make the lens. The usual age of onset is around 50 years. Starts with mild lens changes which results into hypersensitivity to light and mild cloudy vision. The condition progresses as the individual advances in age till maturity when it can totally obscure vision. The good thing about cataract is the fact that vision can be restored once the cataractous lens is taken out (through surgery) and replaced with another one.

How to Cope Cataract: there is no known non-surgical means of taking care of cataract once it is initiated, but pending maturation the individual, can cope with the different symptoms pending when they are ready for the surgical removal. For example, the use of shaded or polaroid lenses can take care hypersensitivity to light, change of lens prescription from time to time to enhance vision, and surgical removal of cataract to restore vision.

 

AGE RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION(AMD)

 

 

This is the degeneration of the macular (the part of the eye that is responsible for sharpest vision) area. This can result into mild to severe vision impairment. The use hand held magnifiers for reading and doing near work can suffice in some cases. There are also telescopes and other optical gadgets that can be used by an individual for vision enhancement.

 

POSTERIOR VITREOUS DETACHMENT

 

This is the pulling or separation of the middle layer of the eye called the vitreous from the innermost part of the eye called the retina. This separation in most cases is not accompanied by vision impairment. But there might be some form uncomfortable vision experiences like flashes of light and floaters. These flashes of light are usually experienced at the initial stage of the separation of the two layers and wear off after a complete separation. The eyes develop some adaptation ability that prevent us from paying attention the vision experiences over time till they eventually wear off.

CONCLUSION

As stated earlier maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help to protect from some of these age-related changes that happen to the human eye. Some social activities such as alcohol consumptions, smoking, drugs abuse, caffeinated drinks, lack of exercise, anxiety, and eating junks food impact eye health and vision. Therefore, we should be very cautious of these things once we reach the age of 40 as our body metabolic activities are affected by them. Furthermore, we should be regular with eye and general health check-ups.

 

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