At Esthetic Eyes we strive to accommodate our discerning clientele, with the utmost care and service possible. Since taking care of your “vision eye” is just as important as taking care of ones prosthetic eye, the next several Blogs will be devoted to focusing on how to not only improve and strengthen your vision naturally, and share how age affects our eyes, but also how active you may be having an artificial eye!
“How to maintain optimum eye health…for your “vision eye” (having monocular vision).”
How Aging Affects Other Eye Structures
While normally we think of aging as it relates to conditions such as presbyopia and cataracts, more subtle changes in our vision and eye structures also take place as we grow older. These changes include:
• Reduced pupil size. As we age, muscles that control our pupil size and reaction to light lose some strength. This causes the pupil to become smaller and less responsive to changes in ambient lighting.
• Because of these changes, people in their 60s need three times more ambient light for comfortable reading than those in their 20s.
• Also, seniors are more likely to be dazzled by bright sunlight and glare when emerging from a dimly lit building such as a movie theater. Eyeglasses with photochromic lenses and anti-reflective coating can help reduce this problem.
• Dry eyes. As we age, our bodies produce fewer tears. This is particularly true for women after menopause. If you begin to experience a burning sensation, stinging, or other eye discomfort related to dry eyes, use artificial tears as needed throughout the day for comfort, or consult your eye doctor for other options such as prescription dry eye medications.
• Loss of peripheral vision. Aging also causes a normal loss of peripheral vision, with the size of our visual field decreasing by approximately one to three degrees per decade of life. By the time you reach your 70s and 80s, you may have a peripheral visual field loss of 20 to 30 degrees.
• Because the loss of visual field increases the risk for automobile accidents, make sure you are more cautious when driving. To increase your range of vision, turn your head and look both ways when approaching intersections.
• Decreased color vision. Cells in the retina that are responsible for normal color vision decline in sensitivity as we age, causing colors to become less bright and the contrast between different colors to be less noticeable.
• In particular, blue colors may appear faded or “washed out.” While there is no treatment for this normal, age-related loss of color perception, you should be aware of this loss if your profession (e.g. artist, seamstress or electrician) requires fine color discrimination.
• Vitreous detachment. As we age, the gel-like vitreous inside the eye begins to liquefy and pull away from the retina, causing “spots and floaters” and (sometimes) flashes of light. This condition, called vitreous detachment, is usually harmless.
• But floaters and flashes of light can also signal the beginning of a detached retina — a serious problem that can cause blindness if not treated immediately. If you experience flashes and floaters, see your eye doctor immediately to determine the cause.
What You Can Do About Age-Related Vision Changes
A healthy diet and wise lifestyle choices, such as not smoking, are your best natural defenses against vision loss as you age.
Also, you need to have regular eye exams with a caring and knowledgeable optometrist or ophthalmologist.
Be sure to discuss with your eye doctor all concerns you have about your eyes and vision. Tell him or her about any history of eye problems in your family, as well as any other health problems you may have.
Your eye doctor should know what medications you take (including non-prescription vitamins, herbs and supplements). This will help with appropriate recommendations to keep your eyes healthy and functioning at their optimum level throughout your lifetime.
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