Common Eye Diseases in Seniors
Certain vision problems and eye diseases become more likely as you get older. Thankfully the team at Monterey County Eye Associates can help diagnose and treat these age-related vision problems. Our goal will always be to restore your vision quality and improve your overall sense of independence whenever possible.
Below, our team of Salinas and Monterey, CA eye doctors have covered the basics of age-related vision issues. We can discuss causes, symptoms, and treatments in greater detail during your visit to the practice.
Cataracts refer to the clouding of the naturally clear lens of the eye. With age, the tissues of the lens of the eye can break down and then clump up, causing the lens to appear cloudy. Looking through a cataract is like staring through frosted glass. Injuries to the eye can also cause cataracts, as can years of smoking.
Treating cataracts may simply require corrective lenses and the use of assistive devices to improve vision. When cataracts progress to an advanced stage, they can be removed surgically.
Presbyopia is a form of age-related hyperopia (farsightedness) that sets in around middle age. It’s the result of the lens losing flexibility, which makes it harder to focus on nearby objects. This is an unavoidable condition, and everyone will experience it to some degree.
Presbyopia is commonly treated with bifocals, which allow patients to see nearby and distant objects. Having two pairs of glasses for different distances is also a possibility. There are also forms of LASIK and lens implants that can help address this issue.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
The macula is the central portion of the retina, the tissue at the back of the eye essential for good vision. With age, the macula can deteriorate. This leads to the loss of central vision, which can make it difficult to read, recognize faces, drive, and accomplish other daily tasks.
While there is no known cure for macular degeneration, patients can make lifestyle changes to slow the progression of their vision loss. These changes include a better diet, more exercise, and quitting the use of tobacco products.
Glaucoma is a condition caused by the excessive buildup of pressure within the eye. This intraocular pressure causes damage to the optic nerve, which can lead to total blindness if the condition is not diagnosed and proper treatment is not initiated in time.
Treating glaucoma typically begins with the use of medicated eyedrops and oral medications that can reduce intraocular pressure. Surgery can be performed if the use of medications is ineffective at slowing the rate of vision loss.
Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eye is more than just an inconvenience. The lack of tear production can lead to significant problems with vision and comfort. It becomes more likely as patients get older, possibly due to decreased tear production, changes in tear composition, or other age-related issues.
Using liquid tears is generally the first step to treating dry eye, though these lubricating eye drops may not be enough. Punctal plugs and more advanced treatments can be recommended for patients as needed.
Speak with Our Eye Care Specialists
If you are a senior citizen and want to learn more about preserving and improving your vision, be sure to contact our team of eye doctors and vision specialists. You can reach us in Monterey by calling (831) 375-5066, in Salinas by calling (831) 424-1150, and on Upper Ragsdale Drive by calling (831) 372-1500.