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Age Related Vision Loss

Vision loss may be linked to eye conditions and also linked to aging vision loss, such as, Presbyopia, Cataracts, Keratoconus, Macular Degeneration, and Glaucoma.  For example, the vast majority of people over 40 have Presbyopia. A vast majority of people over 55 have cataracts. Age related vision loss may be linked to medical conditions, such as brain injury or stroke. There are a good number of eye conditions that are treatable to prevent vision loss, restore vision and preserve vision over your lifetime. Regular eye examinations are particularly important over the age of 40 to rule out eye conditions and provide early treatment in order to prevent advanced vision loss, restore vision and prevent the risk of blindness.

Eye conditions listed in this article and the treatment options are not fully described, but we hope this information will help reinforce the idea that it’s important to see your eye doctor and research information about medical procedures and technologies, including some of the wonderful advanced technologies profiled in our Ophthalmology Forums.

After all, eye doctors are the medical specialists to provide accurate and conclusive diagnosis. Certain ophthalmologists have advanced expertise with the most advanced technology to take the fear, anxiety and pain out of treatment for your eye condition.

Inhibited Focus Abilities and Presbyopia

A common eye condition for most all people over 40, Presbyopia may affect your ability to focus in on objects unless in some cases, the object is placed at a distance. People with presbyopia may experience headaches and eye strain, particularly when reading, performing computer related tasks, or viewing fine details in close up objects. The olden day remedies may be reading glasses, bifocal glasses, focus lenses, contact lenses, bright lighting. Today, many patient opt to diminish or eliminate Presbyopia with Refractive Lens Exchange, including: monofocal and multifocal implantable lens, for greater advantages.  Refractive lens exchange not only improves focus power to significantly enhance vision, but may offer a higher quality of life since there’s no need to manage eyeglasses, contact lenses or optical devices. In fact, people with presbyopia do not qualify for the LASIK procedure so RLE  may be an excellent alternative.

Yellow or Brown Spotted Eyes and Cataracts or Sun Damaged Eyes

Yellow or brown spots in the eyes, may be caused a variety of eye conditions, such as cataracts or sun damage. If you have early stage cataracts, it’s wise to rush in to your ophthalmologist’s office to inquire about refractive lens exchange, a less invasive alternative when compared to cataract surgery. Alternatively if your eyes are sun damaged, you may qualify for a painless procedure called I-Brite to bring your bight white eyes back out.

Floaters, Blurred Shadowy Vision and Retinal Detachment, Diabetic Retinopathy, or Infection

People from their 40’s to senior years are more likely to experience retinal detachment, signified by a “curtain” over the field of vision. Other related symptom conditions may seem like strands or specks of material floating over your eyes or a cover over your field of vision. The condition may result from injury or disease. Retinal Detachment is an emergent condition in which early treatment is likely to prevent permanent vision loss. The treatments vary and these symptoms are important to address at the onset to reduce sudden decline in vision. Diabetic retinopathy, eye infections cataracts and other eye symptoms may seem like some retinal detachment symptoms may not be so. In all cases, it’s extremely important to obtain and accurate diagnosis.

Night Vision, Peripheral Vision and Central Vision Loss plus Retinitis Pigmentosa

Retinitis pigmentosa is a rare inherited disease that triggers retina degeneration.  Retinitis pigmentosa results in decreased night vision, gradual peripheral vision loss, and loss of central vision in some cases. Retina degeneration may lead to blindness. Yet, some ophthalmologists believe that high doses of Vitamin A may slow down the progression of retinitis pigmentosa, and that taking Vitamin E makes it worse. Depending on the degree of vision loss, people with retinitis pigmentosa may benefit from the use of electronic magnifiers, night-vision scopes, and other such special optical devices for impaired vision.  On the other hand, there may be other reason for your visions, including eye conditions and eye injury.

Cloudy Fading Vision over Part or All of the Eye Lens and Cataracts

Cloudy, murky color cover over your clear eye lens may signify a cataract. To preserve your vision, it is wise to seek out the advice of an ophthalmologist that has advanced skills in early cataract detection and treatment for the best opportunity to preserve optimal vision, prevent the progression of vision loss and the reduce the risk of blindness in later years. Cataracts are a fundamental reason for vision loss in people over 55, but advanced vision loss is likely preventable with early treatment.  In terms of treatment, initially special eyeglasses, anti-glare sunglasses, and magnifying lenses may assist. Refractive Lens Exchange(RLE)  is another option to eliminate the need for using optical devices when the cataract is detected early, in some cases cataracts are asymptomatic unless through diagnostic testing. Cataract surgery is often appropriate if the cataract is suspected to compromise quality of life with advanced vision loss or blindness.  During the RLE procedure, an artificial lens replaces the cloudy lens through a 10 minute painless procedure that does not involve extensive downtime. In cataract surgery, the cloudy natural lens must be removed from the eye. After that, in most cases a permanent intraocular lens (IOL) implant replaces the natural lens to restore vision focus power.

Inability for Light to Penetrate the Eyes with Vision, Loss or Blindness and Corneal Disease

There are several types of conditions that may affect the cornea of the eye which is signified by vision loss. The Cornea, which is the clear, curved surface that covers the front of the eye, may have an infection that can be treated with antibiotics. There are also corneal dystrophies, such as, Keratoconus, signified by a build -up of a cloudy material or scarring that impairs vision and may cause blindness over time when left untreated.  Cornea surgery, such as, cornea transplant surgery and Holcombe CR3 for Keratoconus are two options available to restore vision.

Distorted Vision, Central Vision Loss and Best’s Disease

Best’s Disease is just one of the several eye conditions associated with symptoms listed above; some of which are curable and some of which that may be managed. Vision loss from Best’s Disease may become extensive in later years. There are optical devices, such as, those for low vision that have proven useful for the management of Best’s Disease.

Itchy Red Irritated Eyes and Eye Inflammation

There are irritants that may cause red irritated eyes, such as allergies. There are several forms of inflammation of the eyes, such as, Blepharitis, which may affect the eye lashes and produce scaling. Dry eye syndrome which may produce similar symptoms too, is signified by consistent eye dryness due to too little tear production or too rapid tear evaporation. Dry eye syndrome may be linked to certain medications, air borne pollution, climate, and certain medical diseases. Eye doctors may suggest eye moisturizers, such as, artificial tears, the use of a humidifier and/or allergy treatments, even lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking. Any time your eyes are irritated and red, it is wise to consult with an eye doctor.  For example, there are eye infections, such as, conjunctivitis, signified by a milky excretion of liquid, which must be treated properly to prevent worsening of the eye condition.

Uveitis  may produce symptoms of red eyes, blurred vision, floaters, and light sensitivity, but may also be linked to an underlying disease. Eye drops and other medications are commonly prescribed to reduce inflammation. If not properly treated related to every medical condition, uveitis can lead to scarring and vision loss.

Visible Blood Vessels in the Eyes’ Retinas and Diabetic Retinopathy

The symptom of blood vessels in the retinas of the eyes is sometimes associated with Diabetic Retinopathy, due to impairment of the circulatory system in the eyes from uncontrolled diabetes.   Diabetics should have routine eye examinations for early detection of this condition in which laser and other surgical options can be explored to prevent vision loss. Controlling diabetes is another way to prevent vision loss. Visible blood vessels in the eyes may be due to other factors, such as sun damage. Sun damaged eyes may be remedies with I Brite.

No and Subtle Warnings Signs for Eye Pressure Irregularity and Glaucoma

Glaucoma is characterized by fluid pressure in the eyes that is too high, called intraocular pressure.   This condition may not display symptoms but results in peripheral vision loss and possible damage the optic nerve which may lead to total irreparable blindness. Prompt treatment is mandatory to prevent vision loss which may be daily medication to control intraocular pressure, surgery, or a combination of both. These glaucoma patients can usually retain their vision.

Distorted Vision, Possible Blindness and Keratoconus

Keratomconnus is a condition of the cornea which becomes progressively thinner and gradually bulges outward. Close to one of every five patients eventually correct vision loss from keratoconus through a corneal transplant by changing out the cornea or collagen cross linking and intraocular lens placement, such as, Holcombe RC3, a less invasive approach.

Dim Vision or Blind Spot and Macular Degeneration or Optic Nerve Atrophy

Your macula is the area located in the middle of your retina in your eye that allows for sharp central vision for reading, driving, as well as, recognizing faces and colors. Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of visual impairment in seniors. Yet, drug therapy, laser surgery, or other medical treatment may be able to slow the disease’s progression and prevent further vision loss. People with macular degeneration may  also benefit from the use of various optical devices for low vision, including: eye magnifiers, high-intensity lamps, and pocket-sized telescopes. Other types of macular degeneration include: Stargardt’s Disease and Best’s Disease.

Optic Nerve Atrophy is another eye condition with similar symptoms but is due to optic nerve degeneration which limits internal communication between vision information and the brain. Optic nerve atrophy may make it difficult to see contrast and fine detail. Vision loss due to optic nerve atrophy is permanent, but treatment may prevent more vision loss.  Children may mange the condition best with bright lighting, high contrast, and bold colors.

Blind Spot in Vision and Scotoma

This symptom, affecting central vision or peripheral vision, is associated with retina damage. Causes of scotoma include: macular degeneration, glaucoma, and optic nerve inflammation. The management of scotoma may include eye magnifiers, bright lighting, and large-print for reading.  A blind spot in your vision may be a symptom of another eye condition. So, as always, it is most important to obtain a timely consultation with an eye doctor for a true diagnosis.

Eye doctors offer consultations to treat eye conditions, often at last minute notice when necessary. Early detection and treatment is very important for any eye or vision loss symptom.  Regular checkups with your eye doctor may prevent the onset of more serious eye conditions, especially for eye conditions that are not symptomatic but may be detectable through an eye test.  The information here is not meant to provide you with a diagnosis. Nor can this information provide you with an appropriate treatment plan. The only way for you to accomplish those goals is to select an eye doctor.

It is important to recognize that all information contained on this website cannot be considered to be specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. As always, you should consult with a physician regarding any medical condition. Your Health Access disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.