The Truth About Age-Related Eyesight Deterioration

Is everyone destined to have poor eyesight as they age? What really makes our vision blurry and what conditions lead to eye disease? Read on to learn more.

Well, this is not a regular beauty tips article, but rather we keep track of a health issue. Actually, eyes are part of our well-being, and our beauty is well based on our health.

Most senior adults deal with poor eyesight, leading us to believe that every person is destined to lose their excellent vision in time. While this may be true to a considerable degree, science has found a way to preserve healthy eyes for a lifetime. Common age-related eye illnesses have also been treatable for a while now, with top cataract surgeons available in many parts of the world.

But what really causes eyesight to go bad with age? Heredity is already a given cause for people with family histories of poor eyesight and health conditions such as diabetes. As for the rest, can their eyesight still deteriorate even with a 20/20 vision in their younger years?

Understanding Eye Anatomy

To determine the causes of deteriorating eyesight, we should first understand how our eyes work. The eye has four structures: the cornea, lens, retina, and optic nerve. The eye undergoes through a process before we can see and register an image.

Light is the first thing our eye recognizes, and this passes through the cornea, our eye’s entry point. Next, the light signal transmits to the lens, which focuses it on the retina. It is in the retina where the light signal gets converted into a neural signal, which is carried by the optic nerve to the brain. This process is the reason we can see and recognize sights.

Causes of a Worsened Eyesight

Poor eyesight is caused by a problem in one of the four eye structures. Certain health conditions can damage the tear film of the cornea, which causes degradation of the vision. Blepharitis, an age-related eye condition, is an inflammation of the eyelids that also affects the cornea. It damages the tear-producing cells, leading to a sensation of having a “film” over the eyes, blurred vision, and dry eyes.

Cataracts and presbyopia are caused by a condition in the lens. With age, the lenses in our eyes become less flexible, encouraging the development of cataracts. In this condition, our vision becomes cloudy and unable to focus.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma, meanwhile, are caused by problems in the retina and optic nerve, respectively. Glaucoma, in particular, doesn’t show any symptoms until its later stages, so early detection is crucial, otherwise, surgery might be needed. AMD, on the other hand, has no approved treatment yet, but preventive measures can be effective if observed consistently.

People at Risk

Adults past the age of 40 with the following health conditions or a family history thereof are more likely to develop an eye disease as they get older:

  • Diabetes or high blood pressure
  • Family history of glaucoma or AMD
  • High cholesterol
  • Thyroid problems
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Arthritis

People with jobs that can be hazardous to the eyes are also more at risk.

Symptoms of a Deteriorating Eyesight

As you age, you’ll realize that you always need more light to read, especially small texts. You also find it harder to read and focus on close-up sights, so you always lean back a little to focus better. You may also struggle to see with glare, especially when you’re driving because other headlights create it. In reality, though, the glares aren’t coming from the headlights; you see them because the lenses in your eyes have become less flexible.

Your perception of colors may have started to change as well. This happens because the clear lenses in your eyes have become discolored. Another sign of worsening eyesight is dry eyes or constantly irritated eyes. This results from the changes in the tear film of the cornea.

With a healthy diet, exercise, and proper eye-care habits, you can reduce these age-related effects. This will ultimately lead to a significantly lowered risk of developing in an eye disease later in your life. Therefore, not every person is destined to have poor eyesight in their old age.

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