Here are a few events that could occur for our eyes:
- Presbyopia, people lose the ability to see clearly up close starting at age 40. It helps to use reading glasses from that point on.
- Dry eyes, your eyes get drier like your skin, not the other way around. With current lifestyle, being on the computer and iPhone more than 5 hours a day for average Joe, dry eyes are more prevalent and happening in younger ages.
- Cataract, the lens inside your eye, like the camera, was clear for 50 years, after 50 years of use and sun damage, it starts to get cloudy. And when it get very cloudy, we call it cataract. It can be removed, and replaced by an implant.
- Glaucoma, glaucoma can happen at any age, but angle closure glaucoma can happen around 42 years old or late 40s to early 50s. Due to the lens moving forward, reducing the space for the fluid to drain. Open angle glaucoma can happen from infancy to any older age. It happens in those that has increasing poor drainage in the front of their eyes, or increased eye pressure. This can happen with hereditary disease or by taking medications. The older your eye is, more likely fibers get weaker and lose connection to the back of the brain. Once the connection/signal is broken, it leads to blindness. Open angle glaucoma happens more for people who are more nearsighted too. As their eyeballs are longer, the tissues and nerve fiber layers get stretched out thinner and become weaker.
- Floaters and retinal detachment. (I have to add this one after reviewing) I have floaters in my 20s. Some get it in their 40s and onward. Floater happens as an aging process, but it can happen earlier in those who are near sighted like I am. When there are sudden floaters occuring, it’s best to get your eyes check in 24 hours. It can lead to retinal detachment, and blindness.
- Diabetic retinopathy, when people have diabetes, the more number of years it’s been around, the more likely diabetes can affect the eyes. It can cause central vision loss with edema, or weakening of new blood vessels call neovascularization. Newer weaker vessels are more likely to bleed and hemorrhage inside the eyes. If the new blood vessel growth signal (VEGF) goes to the front of the eye, the new blood vessels can grow on the iris and the fluid drainage angle, leading to glaucoma in 90 days. Which would bring on blindness in that one eye.
- Hypertensive retinopathy, with increasing age, more people are likely to have high blood pressure. The high blood pressure is detected when most blood vessels in the body are 70 percent blocked (due to plaques and calcium deposits on blood vessel walls, they become narrower). That means the blood vessels at the back of the eyes are affected too. It can lead to hardened artery sitting on vein, blocking the vein’s blood movement, and lead to vein being occluded. After a little while, it starts to break and have blood hemorrhaging inside the eyes. If it’s a smaller artery? Only part of the eye blood vessels structure is affected. If it’s a larger artery/vein, central retinal artery/vein? The whole eye could be affected, leading to blindness. The other problem with hypertension in older age is that ocular stroke can occur as well.
- Skins on the eye aging. With 50 plus years of sun damage, pyterygium or pinguecula can occur on the conjunctiva or limbus, on the white parts of the eyes, making become yellow, or yellow with blood vessel. It can cover the dark part (pupil) of the eye. Pterygium or pinguecula can be removed, but they can grows back. Sunglasses or wide bream hat is best for protection.
- Skins around the eye aging. People spend money to protect their skin. The harder parts to protect are the skins around the eyes. They are more sensitive. Droopy lids, and extra fat can occur around the eye lids as well.
- ARMD, age-related macular degeneration. How can I miss ARMD. This affects everyone over the age of 50-60 to some degree. It’s caused by sun damage through the pupil, reaching the back of your eye, affecting your central vision. The retinal layers are affected, sometimes distorting vision. This too, can be prevented, or minimized with nutritional diet or supplements.
Best way to prevent eye problems or seek anti-aging eye care would be check with your local optometrist yearly for eye exams, for protection and prevention. Others with contact lens wear would benefit from yearly eye exams as well.
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Dr. Yan L. Liang, OD
Contact Warden Optometry to book your vision and health consult.