A Look at Eye Health by Age

Your eyesight and your perception of eye health change throughout your life. I want to take you on a journey across the paths of four individuals, all at different points in their lives, and let them explain to you the role vision care plays in their lives. In addition, I am going to provide you with some common eye conditions by age group.

Seniors (60+):

  • Presbyopia – the loss of the ability to clearly see objects and small print
  • Floaters – tiny spots or specks floating across the eye
  • Dry Eyes – glands cannot produce enough tears
  • Tearing – too many tears are produced
  • Cataracts – cloudy areas of the eyes
  • Glaucoma – too much fluid and pressure inside the eye
  • Corneal Diseases
  • Eyelid Problems
  • Conjunctivitis – the tissue on the eyelids becomes inflamed (pink eye)

Dean S. (76) said,  “When I was young my vision was pretty much perfect. I never thought anything of it,  just went along my daily routine. Then, when I turned about 45 I noticed images and faces were starting to become blurry. After about a year of going through denial, I finally took myself to an eye doctor and they told me I had presbyopia. After being fitted with eye glasses I could see perfectly again, and that was really the turning point for me. That is when I realized how important seeing my eye doctor was every year. Vision is precious and far too many times do the youngsters feel they are invincible, but one day it will catch up to them.”

Middle-Aged Adults (40-60):

  • Need for more light
  • Difficulty reading and doing close work
  • Problems with glare
  • Changes in color perception
  • Reduced tear production
  • Presbyopia – mentioned above

Regina P. (42) said, “I have always had terrible vision, since I was a kid. My parents of course bought me those huge bulky glasses that I have the honor of looking at in all my childhood pictures. Even through the torment, I learned how precious my vision was and how I would go through it all again to be able to visually experience all the things I have seen in my life. ”

Young Adults (20-40):

  • Computer Vision Syndrome – blurred vision, red eyes after computing
  • Irritation from pollution
  • Conjunctivitis – more common for parents with school-aged children

Marge T. (25) said, “I have never needed glasses or contacts during my life. My parents both wear glasses but they never took us to the eye doctors growing up, so I still do not go. I do notice my employer pays for a vision plan, but I still do not go in to visit an eye doctor. I guess it couldn’t hurt to get an eye exam.”

Infant/Toddler/Child (0-20):

  • Amblyopia – poor vision in an eye that has not developed normal sight
  • Poor Eye Alignment
  • Ptosis – drooping upper eyelid that covers the eye somewhat or entirely
  • “Cloudy” Eyes
  • Conjunctivitis 
  • Stye – sore lump near the edge of the eyelid
  • Blocked tear duct – the eye’s drainage system is partially or completely obstructed

Logan C. (9) said, “My mom and dad have taken me to the eye doctor since I was a baby. They were always talking about my lazy eye. I remember I had to wear an eye patch to help make it better. Now I only have to wear glasses. I love my eye doctor; she takes good care of me and my parents.”

As you can see in the personal reflections above, eye care means different things to different people but regardless of how your vision has been up to this point, or how you were raised, it is important to understand that you are in charge of your vision.  Even when you don’t have any symptoms of vision problems, an eye exam can help with early detection of diseases and conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. Help prevent some of these eye-related issues for yourself and your family by making it a habit to routinely see your eye care provider.

By Julie D.

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