Sometime after the age of 40, you may notice a gradual decline in your ability to see small print or focus on close objects. This is a normal change that happens as your eyes age. Headaches and fatigue may result from this change in vision. Reading glasses can be prescribed to correct the problem.
This disorder is caused by too much pressure inside the eye due to blocked drainage of the eye fluid. If left untreated, blindness can result. Symptoms often develop gradually, so regular checkups are needed to catch glaucoma early. Glaucoma occurs more often in people over 40 and tends to run in families.
Cataracts are a disease in which the lenses of the eyes become cloudy and opaque, causing partial or total blindness. Cataracts form slowly and with no symptoms. The change may be so slow that no treatment is necessary. But if the cataracts become too thick, the eyes’ lenses can usually be removed with laser surgery and replaced with clear, plastic lenses. This is a commonly performed surgery with little risk and good results.
The leading causes of blindness in the United States are from retinal disorders. The retina is a thin lining of cells, located at the back of the eye, that receives visual images and passes them on to the brain. Retinal detachment, age-related degeneration and diabetic retinopathy are the most common retinal disorders. Early detection makes treatments, such as laser surgery, more successful.
- Eat right and exercise regularly. Have regular checkups to monitor blood pressure and test for diabetes.
- Have a complete eye exam every year to three years that includes dilation of the pupils. (This is the only way to find some eye diseases that have no symptoms.)
- See your eye doctor if you have any eye pain, fluid draining from your eyes, double vision, redness or swelling of your eyes or eyelids or vision loss or dimness