40's and 50's
Forties and Fifties Eye Concerns
Generally, changes in your vision now are just a factor of aging.
If you experience any of the issues below, you may have the early warning signs of a more serious problem. In all cases, early detection and treatment can keep your vision strong—so see your eye care professional to be sure that your eyes are healthy, or to begin treatment if a new condition has developed.
Loss of Peripheral Vision
If it seems that you don’t have the side-to-side vision you’ve been accustomed, you may have an early sign of glaucoma. This condition comes from abnormally high pressure inside your eyeball—and it often has no symptoms until damage to your vision has begun. Your eye care professional will test your eyes for glaucoma at your annual eye exam. While there’s no cure for this problem, early detection and treatment can save your vision by keeping glaucoma from progressing.
Prescription eye drops, such as OptiPranolol®, can decrease eye pressure by slowing the production of fluids within the eye or by improving the drainage flow.
If your vision seems dim or you’re having trouble reading, watching television and just seeing what’s around you—even when you’re wearing your glasses or contact lenses—you may have cataracts in one or both eyes. Most of us will develop cataracts as we age, because our eyes’ lenses become more and more opaque as we get older. Cataracts can be corrected by your ophthalmologist, who can replace your eye’s lens with a clear plastic intraocular lens like the ones made by Bausch & Lomb.
Blurred images and dull colors
When it’s as hard to read street signs as it is to read the newspaper, and colors seem washed out and dull, you may have the early warning signs of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The macula, the part of your retina that’s responsible for central vision, deteriorates and creates a blind spot that’s right in the middle of your field of vision. AMD is the leading cause of blindness in people over 50, but its progress is slow and it often affects only one eye. Your eye doctor will check for this disease during your annual eye examination.
The landmark National Institutes of Health AREDS trial proved that a high potency antioxidant vitamin and mineral supplement was effective in helping to preserve the sight of certain people most at risk.* PreserVision® Eye Vitamin AREDS Soft Gel formula is based on the AREDS formula, the one and only antioxidant vitamin and mineral supplement proven clinically effective in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS).
*These statements have not been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, care or prevent any disease.
Floating spots and flashes of light
We all see spots, specks and things that look like dark bits of string floating in our eyes on occasion. These are actually cells and fibers in the vitreous, the gel-like part of your eye that maintains the shape of your eyeball. Generally, these floaters are infrequent and just a normal part of vision. If you suddenly see more floaters than normal, and they are accompanied by bright, flashing lights, the floaters may be a warning sign of impending retinal detachment—an actual tear between the vitreous and the retina. Left untreated, this tear can expand and lead to serious loss of vision. See your eye care professional immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.
Retinal detachment can be treated successfully with surgery.
Low Vision / Vision Loss
While regular eye examinations and early diagnosis of eye diseases can save much of your vision, in some cases, you may have some vision loss before you see your doctor and begin treatment. This is commonly called low vision, a condition that can’t be corrected with glasses, contact lenses or surgery. You can learn to adjust to low vision with magnifiers and continue many of your normal activities. Some eye care professionals specialize in rehabilitation for low vision, so ask your eye doctor for recommendations.
Diabetes and Your Eyes
If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, it’s important to have your eyes examined every year to check for a complication called diabetic retinopathy. High blood sugar and hypertension (high blood pressure) can damage the tiny blood vessels that lead to your retina. The painless condition has no symptoms until it’s become serious, but regular visits to your eye care professional can detect the illness in its early stages. Diabetic retinopathy can be controlled and treated, and its progress slowed significantly detected before you experience vision loss.
Photos courtesy of National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health.