Eye Health and the Aging Process

It’s a fact, as you age you gradually lose some of your visual abilities. Dr. Giles and his team are very experienced with Senior Eye Care and age-related eye issues and will do everything possible to help you manage and maintain your eyesight.

Let’s talk about some of the expected changes that will naturally occur in your eyes:

  • Smaller Pupils. As we age the muscles that control our pupil size lose their strength. It means less ambient light is entering your eye and you need increased light to read or see close work.
  • More Glare. The lenses in your eye are changing and they cause light entering the eye to be scattered, rather than focused precisely on the retina. So, you’ll experience more glare than you are accustomed too.
  • Decline in Color Vision. The retina cells are responsible for color. As we age they decline in sensitivity making colors less vivid and the contrast between some colors, less defined.
  • Peripheral Vision Narrows. Over time loss of peripheral vision naturally occurs and we’ll lose 1 to 3 degrees for every decade of life we live. By the age of 70 or 80 it’s likely you’ll have a peripheral vision loss of 20 to 30 degrees.
  • Vitreous Detachment. This occurs because the gel-like vitreous inside the eye begins to liquefy and pull away from the retina. You’ll see spots, floaters and maybe flashes of light. This condition is usually harmless. But, floaters and flashes of light may indicate the beginning of a detached retina. Please, call immediately so we can determine the cause. If left untreated a detached retina can cause blindness.

Driving and Your Changing Eyesight

Unfortunately, the age-related vision changes we discussed above and chronic eye diseases will affect your driving ability, your safety and the safety of others. Here’s a list of symptoms you will likely experience:

  • Not being able to see road signs as clearly
  • Difficulty seeing objects up close, like the car instrument panel or road maps
  • Difficulty judging distances and speed
  • Changes in color perception
  • Problems seeing in low light or at night
  • Difficulty adapting to bright sunlight or glare from headlights
  • Experiencing a loss of side vision

Chronic Eye Diseases

Two Other Issues, Not Necessarily Age Related

Dry Eye. This issue becomes more common as you get older. As you age there is reduced tear production and your eyes may feel dry and irritated. Women going through menopause are generally affected. Other causes include medications, medical conditions and environment.  Also, long term use of contact lenses can lead to the development of dry eye.

Low Vision. Permanent or partial loss of vision requires rehab and resources to regain one’s independence. Dr. Giles and his team will recommend rehabilitative services to help you live and work safely and effectively, within the limits of your vision impairment.