Does aging come with sight problems?

With advancing age, degenerative changes occur in every part of the body, including eyes. In fact eyes are one of the most overused parts of our body, working constantly non stop during waking hours.

Dear Doctor,

I am aged 65, but my sight is beginning to become poor? Is this because I am aging? Karenzi

Dear Karenzi,

With advancing age, degenerative changes occur in every part of the body, including eyes. In fact eyes are one of the most overused parts of our body, working constantly non stop during waking hours. The first change to occur with aging is loss of near vision. The eye muscles responsible for accommodating one to see near objects clearly weaken after 40 years or so, causing difficulty in activities like reading and sewing. If this is not corrected, it tends to affect far vision as well, due to eye strain. This manifests as blurred vision.

The lens (focal point for convergence of rays of vision) tends to become opaque with age, affecting vision. Macular degeneration (macula is central point of retina, the part where image of object visualized is focused to be conveyed higher up for interpretation) also occurs with aging. This also affects vision. Thus visual problems occur due to multiple reasons as one ages. Smoking, alcohol use, high blood pressure, uncontrolled diabetes, malnutrition, genetic factors, infections affecting the eyes, are some of the risk factors which hasten these changes and aggravate them.

Use of a diet containing adequate amount of vitamins B.complex and A, antioxidants, protecting eyes from exposure to dust, strong sunlight, keeping eyes clean, taking care of hypertension and diabetes, among others, chronic diseases affecting the eyes, avoiding alcohol and tobacco, are measures that can delay vision changes in eyes with aging.

 

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