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Vision Problems In The Elderly | mumbaieyecare

The human eye is a specialized sensory organ. It captures and detects visual images. It carries visual informationto the brain. The human eye includes the cornea, pupil, lens, iris, retina, optic nerves, aqueous and vitreous humour & photoreceptors.

The eyes have several muscles that allow a person to look in different directions without any head movement. These muscles operate through various cranial nerves such as the abducens, the trochlear, and the oculomotor nerves.

Ageing is a slow and natural process that initiates in early adulthood. Many functions of the body gradually decline due to ageing. Increasing in age can lead to several changes in eyes and their vision. Eye problems are common during ageing. However, several measures help in maintaining the optimum health of the eyes.

Why are Seniors more sensitive to eye problems?
Changes that happen in old age are:

It becomes harder to focus on any object for longtime
It is difficult to see in dim light.
The lens becomes yellow or brown.
Eyes become dry due to less production of fluid
The number of nerve cells decreases.
The ageing process may also affect the production of tears. There is a decrease in tear production that is important to provide sufficient moisture to the eyes. Insufficiency in the amount of liquid may cause dry eyes.

In middle age, the lens of the eyes becomes less flexible. The thickness of the lenses reduces, and the ability to focus on a nearby object is also impaired. It is known as presbyopia.

Common eye problems in elderly
Increasing age interfere with several body functions. It may cause various eye problems. These are presbyopia, dry eyes, cataract, glaucoma, conjunctivitis, eyelid problems, and retinal disorders. Retinal disorders include age-related macular degeneration (AMD), Diabetic Retinopathy, and Retinal detachment.

Presbyopia: It is a condition in which the eye lens becomes less flexible, less thick & cause difficulty to focus on nearby objects.

Dry eyes: The condition occurs when tear production is less. It leads to severe dryness in the eyes.

Cataract: Human eye has lenses to focus on the object. These lenses made up of proteins. Protein molecules of the lenses form clusters and cause blurred vision. The condition is known as a cataract. A cataract develops in the elderly. Replacing lenses with artificial lenses is the cataract treatment.

Glaucoma: Glaucoma occurs when the pressure of fluid within the eyes increases. It can damage the optic nerve. Loss of vision is a slow process in glaucoma. The use of eye drops to treat glaucoma is effective, but sometimes eye surgery becomes necessary.

Retinal disorders: Retinal disorders become the reason behind most blindness cases in the present time. The retina is the back lining of the eyes having many cells responsible for the visualization of images. The cells also have the function is to transfer images to the brain. Retinal disorders interfere with the functioning of cells during the transfer of visuals to the brain.

Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) :Macula is a central region of the retina having many light-sensitive cells. The function of the macula is facial recognition and reading. It may cause vision loss but does notresponsible for total blindness.
Diabetic retinopathy : It is a complication that occurs due to diabetes in which the supply of oxygen to the retina becomes impaired. It results in many vision problems.Laser treatment is usually a preferred treatment to prevent vision loss.
Conjunctivitis: The inflammation of the transparent covering of the eyeball is known as conjunctivitis. The eye appears pink in this condition. The doctor may prescribe antibiotics or antiallergics to manage the symptoms of this disease.

The elderly may prevent or delay the occurrence or slow down the eye problems through the following measures:

The routine ocular examination by a doctor
Treatment of many eye problems possible if they found early. You need to visit your ophthalmologist and test your eyesight for glaucoma or cataract.
People who have a family history of eye disease and diabetes need to examine pupil dilation at least once a year to prevent eye problems.
If you experience a sudden loss of vision, blurred vision, redness, swelling, teary eyes and pain, consult with an ophthalmologist.
Ocular diseases may occur at any age. However, the elderly are at increased risk for developing various eye diseases. It is due to ageing and reducing the functioning of several tissues. However, it is simple to maintain good eye health by regular eye examinations and keep your body healthy. Diet also plays a significant role in maintaining healthy eyes. Severe eye conditions may treat by surgeries.

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