The Signs and Symptoms of The Most Common Age-Related Eye Conditions

The leading causes of vision loss in U.S. adults are age-related eye conditions. It is estimated that more than four million people over the age of 40 are blind as a result of untreated eye diseases. 

At LaserVue Eye Center, our ophthalmologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of all vision issues and ocular diseases. In this guide, we outline four of the most common age-related eye conditions and their symptoms.

1. The Most Common Symptom of Nuclear Sclerotic Cataracts (Age-Related Cataracts) is Cloudy Vision

Cloudy vision is one of the first symptoms to present itself during Nuclear Sclerotic (age-related) Cataract development. If you are experiencing the loss of transparency in your eye’s lens or lenses, you might recognize this as cloudy vision.

Cataracts are the #1 cause of preventable blindness in the world, with an estimated 95% of the population in the U.S. over the age of 65 suffering from Nuclear Sclerotic Cataracts. If left untreated, age-related cataracts will get progressively bigger and ultimately lead to decreased vision. 

Some of the other most common symptoms of cataracts to watch for as you age include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Light glares or halos
  • Diminished night vision
  • Decreased ability to see colors

Cataract surgery is the most commonly performed procedure in the U.S., this minimally invasive treatment is a great way to restore clear vision and lessen your dependency on glasses at the same time. Contact LaserVue Eye Center to learn how we can help permanently remove cataracts and restore your vision with advanced Laser Cataract Surgery.

2. Early Detection is Critical with Glaucoma: The “Sneak Thief of Vision”

Glaucoma most commonly affects people over the age of 40, and is the second most common cause of irreversible blindness in the U.S. Glaucoma is called the “sneak thief of vision” because it typically goes undetected. That is why early prevention is the best treatment. 

This degenerative eye disease is most often caused by an abnormal amount of pressure in your eye that results in optic nerve damage. If your optic nerve has been damaged, the resulting vision loss is permanent. 

Late stages of glaucoma include permanent loss of peripheral vision. Your peripheral vision is important in that it allows you to see the things around you without moving your eyes or head. If you have ever noticed something “out of the corner of your eye,” you were seeing it in your peripheral vision.

Typically there are no symptoms associated with glaucoma until the advanced stages. That is why annual eye check-ups to check eye pressure (the highest risk factor for glaucoma) and to examine the health of the optic nerve is so important. Without proper intervention, advanced stages of Glaucoma can eventually lead to total blindness, but it can usually be managed if diagnosed early enough.

3. Wavy or Distorted Lines Could be a Sign of Aging Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Over 195 million Americans over the age of 60 are estimated to have Age-Related Macular Degeneration. As the name would suggest, AMD is the deterioration or breakdown of the macula, located in the center of your retina. The macula is responsible for central vision.  As this disease progresses, you can lose central vision. Early signs include distortion in vision.  If reading or distortions of objects is becoming an issue, you might be experiencing one of the first symptoms of AMD. 

Other visual indicators of age-related macular degeneration are:

  • Blind spots in the center of your field of vision
  • Blurry vision
  • Diminished night vision
  • Decreased ability to see colors
  • Distortion of objects

There is currently no cure for AMD, but timely diagnosis is important. Contact our ophthalmologists at LaserVue for a complete Macular Degeneration exam if you have experienced any of its symptoms, or to determine if you are at risk. 

4. Uncontrolled Diabetes? Diabetic Retinopathy is The Leading Cause of Blindness in Working Adults

Diabetic Retinopathy is a diabetes complication that most commonly affects adults between the ages of 20 to 75. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetics are at risk of developing this condition, and the longer you’ve had diabetes, the higher your risk of developing this condition becomes. 

Diabetic Retinopathy is caused by excess glucose in your blood causing damage to the blood vessels in your retina. This results in vision changes such as partial color blindness and eventually leads to total blindness if not treated. Other common vision changes associated with diabetic retinopathy include:

  • Dark spots or smudges floating in your field of vision
  • Blurry vision
  • Decreased near or far sight
  • Blind spots

The early stages of diabetic retinopathy do not usually present with any visual symptoms. The sooner this eye condition is diagnosed, the quicker we can prevent it from getting worse. The eyes are a window into the body and tell us signs that your blood sugar levels are too high. You can lower your risk of vision loss associated with diabetic retinopathy by visiting your ophthalmologist at LaserVue for annual eye exams.

Contact LaserVue Eye Center to Schedule a Comprehensive Eye Exam Today

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For many age-related eye diseases, symptoms typically do not begin until more advanced stages of development. Receiving regular comprehensive eye examinations is essential to catching age-related eye conditions before permanent damage is done.

If you have not received an eye exam in the last two years, or have experienced any changes in your vision, contact LaserVue Eye Center today to schedule a comprehensive eye exam