The eyes are the most important sensory organ for most life forms including humans. However, they degrade with age. To maintain vision in old age, you should pay sufficient attention to the eyes and avoid risk factors. Here are the most prominent eye diseases and disorders, especially in old age.
We perceive more than 80% of environmental stimuli through our eyes. In their function, they are similar to a camera. Eyelashes and eyebrows protect the eye, and blinking and tears are supposed to drive away unwanted intruders. But some underestimated factors can harm the eye and cause permanent damage to them.
Cataracts Threaten From 50 – Eye Diseases in Old Age
Glaucoma, also known as Green star, can occur at a young age. In Glaucoma, the optic nerve slowly degrades due to increased intraocular pressure and without treatment, it may lead to blindness.
UV Light is Underestimated
Age is not the only enemy for the eyes. Too much UV light can also lead to permanent damage to the lens and retina. The critical thing is that the person concerned does not notice anything until only years later are macular degeneration and cataracts among the possible consequences.
When the sun is combined with snow, there is a much higher risk of snow blindness. It is a kind of sunburn but on the eyes. The uppermost cell layers of the cornea are damaged, which leads to considerable pain and short-term vision problems. The best protection is sunglasses.
Good Sunglasses are Essential – Eye Care Tips
The ophthalmologists recommend buying certified sunglasses from specialist opticians to make sure that they have sufficient UV protection. Relying only on the colour of the glasses is reckless as it has nothing to do with UV protection. The size of the sunglasses is also important because it should be able to reach the eyebrows and the side of the face.
Smoking Promotes Macular Degeneration – Eye Diseases in Old Age
Smoking is often underestimated. It is well known that smoking increases the risk of cancer and stroke, among other things. But how critical it can be for the eyes is less known. Smoking leads to the earlier development of macular degeneration, the most common cause of blindness in old age.
Besides, the harmful substances contained in the cigarettes inhibit the blood flow to the eye. If the eye is not supplied with sufficient oxygen, the eyesight can deteriorate. How closely the blood flow and the eye are related can be seen from the fact that doctors can diagnose high blood pressure and diabetes in the eye. The eye is the only part of the body where blood vessels are clearly visible.
High Blood Pressure and Diabetes Damage the Eyes
Untreated high blood pressure or poorly controlled diabetes can damage the eyes in the long term, as the fine vessels that supply the retina with blood are destroyed. Diabetic retinopathy is one of the most common complications of people with diabetes. The eyesight decreases and in the worst case the patient goes blind.
Diabetics have a higher risk of developing cataracts than healthy people. It is therefore recommended that diabetics and high blood pressure patients should have an eye check-up at least once a year.
Don’t Wear Contact Lenses for too Long – Eye Care Tips
Wearing contact lenses for too long can block the oxygen supply to the eye. The sensitive cornea, in particular, reacts with the vascular sprouting. The blood vessels start growing towards the cornea, become larger, and can be seen more clearly. Once enlarged, they don’t recede. Poorly cared for contact lenses also increases the risk to the eyes.
Alcohol Can Trigger Sicca Syndrome – Eye Diseases in Old Age
Alcohol also harms eye health. Some studies show a connection between the eye disorder, sicca syndrome, i.e. dry eye, and alcohol. Alcohol can penetrate the tear fluid and change its composition in such a way that the eye becomes dry and reacts with burning, itching, redness, and tears. Those who often sit at the computer should be particularly careful.
Suggested Read: Do You See Better When You Squint Your Eyes?
A Regular Visit to the Ophthalmologist
So that eye disorders and diseases can be recognized and treated at an early stage, you need to have regular check-ups and avoid the risk factors mentioned. Also, as soon as symptoms such as burning, redness, or pain occur, you should consult an ophthalmologist. Swift action is crucial in the case of impaired vision, double vision, or blurred vision. You might just be able to save your eye if you keep an eye out for these symptoms.