At What Age Should My Eyes Be A Health Concern?
Age brings along changes to our bodies, both internally and externally. Eyes develop and mature just like the rest of the body. While having your eyes checked routinely, especially if you wear prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses, is important, generally the eyes do not become a health concern until the age of 40. Normal changes in the eyes due to age include loss of focusing power, inability to see up close, unable to distinguish colors well such as blue or black, needing additional ambient light to see and requiring additional time to adjust to changes levels in light such as leaving a dark room and entering a brightly lit room or bright sunlight. However, vision loss is not a normal part of aging. Common age-related eye conditions or diseases that can impact your vision include, cataract development, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy can begin in your 40s; but if caught early, with a yearly checkup, your vision can be preserved.
The milestone age of 40 tends to intensify what may have been gradual changes to your vision. The lens inside the eye is primarily made up of water and protein. Due to age, the proteins begin to clump together causing cataracts. Age-related macular degeneration is brought on by damage caused to the retina, specifically the macula, the part of the eye that controls sharp, straight-ahead vision. Glaucoma is brought on by intense pressure to the optic nerve. Without treatment, peripheral vision loss will begin and eventually lead to overall vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy is associated with an increased risk for those with Type 2 diabetes: 1 in 12 diabetics over the age of 40 has advanced diabetic retinopathy that threatens vision. Vitreous detachment is another retina-related concern attributed to age. As we age, the gel-like vitreous inside the eye begins to liquefy and pull away from the retina, causing eye floaters, dark spots or squiggly lines, and flashes of light. Retinal detachment is very serious and can cause permanent vision loss or blindness.
Eye exams can not only determine if you have eye diseases or conditions but may also diagnose underlying health conditions as well. By age 40, it is necessary to schedule routine eye exams for the continued betterment and preservation of your eye health. To schedule an exam with Kalamazoo Ophthalmology, book conveniently online at WEBSITE or reach out to our office by calling 269-329-5860.