What Eye Diseases Are Associated With Aging?

A significant health care problem is vision loss among the elderly. Approximately one in three people in the U.S. have a vision-impairing eye condition by age 65. The aging population in America is increasing rapidly.

About 70 million Americans will be more than 65 years old by 2030. Experts associate vision loss among the elderly with an increased risk for depression. They also associate it with a decreased ability to perform routine activities.


Age-related Vision Changes


As most people age, they notice changes in their eyesight. Some of these include:


  • Taking longer to adjust to changing levels of light

  • Difficulty distinguishing colors, such as black from blue

  • Developing myopia

Correcting these problems through eyeglasses, contact lenses, and improved lighting is easy. These interventions may enable you to maintain your independence and lifestyle.

Unfortunately, your risk for some eye conditions and diseases increases as you age. Some of these include:


Age-related Macular Degeneration


AMD primarily affects the tiny portion at the retina's center, the macula. This portion of the eye is responsible for sharp central vision. People with age-related macular degeneration often have difficulties performing detail-oriented tasks. These include driving, writing, reading, and identifying shades of color. 

One of the early signs of AMD is shadowy, fuzzy, or distorted central vision. Factors that stand out in increasing AMD risk are age, smoking, and family history. You can have either dry or wet AMD, with each type requiring a different treatment approach. Fortunately, detecting this condition early and slowing its progression through a comprehensive eye exam at TMS Eyecare is possible.


Diabetic Retinopathy


Diabetic eye disease, also known as diabetic retinopathy, results from damage to the retinal blood vessels among people with diabetes. It causes retinal blood vessels to either leak fluid or bleed. If you leave it untreated, it can lead to irreversible vision loss. It may also affect the muscles that control eye movement. Advanced diabetic retinopathy requires laser treatment or surgery.




The lenses are mainly flexible and transparent in healthy eyes. However, they may become less flexible and cloudy in some areas as you age. You have cataracts when the clouding is covering the entire lens. The AAO estimates that about half of Americans will develop this eye condition by age 75. 

The earliest symptoms of cataracts include blurred or cloudy vision, impaired night vision, and colors appearing less vivid than they once did. The only way to remove cataracts is through lens replacement surgery.




A group of related eye disorders can damage the optic nerve, which transmits information from the eye to the brain. The collective term for these disorders is glaucoma, which can be either narrow-angle or open-angle. Most glaucoma cases involve elevated pressure inside the eye, resulting in the loss of peripheral vision. 

As your condition develops, you may experience challenges navigating while walking and trouble seeing at night. Eye doctors diagnose glaucoma through a comprehensive dilated exam. The treatment aims to increase the amount of fluid draining from the eye or decrease the amount of fluid produced by the eye. That may require glaucoma surgery.

Besides the diseases outlined above, eye care professionals associate conditions like dry eye syndrome and low vision with aging. Fortunately, you do not have to live with age-related vision loss. Living with good eyesight into your golden years is possible. However, you need to take proactive steps towards achieving this goal. 

For more on age-related eye conditions, visit TMS Eyecare at our Wichita or Arkansas City, Kansas offices. Call (316) 669-4760, (316) 686-7212, or (620) 442-2577 to schedule an appointment today.

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