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EYESIGHT CHANGES WITH AGING

 

 

Eyesight Aging

Difficulty focusing close up may begin in the 40s; with most of us needing reading glasses between ages 40 and 50. The ability to distinguish fine details may begin to decline in the 70s. From 50 on, there is increased susceptibility to glare, greater difficulty in seeing at low levels of illumination, and more difficulty in detecting moving targets.


Changes In Eye Tissues & Fats With Age

Tissues around our eyes atrophy and fat around the eye is lost; resulting in the upper lid drooping and the lower lid turning inward or outward.

Changes In Tears With Age

Production of tears decreases. This decrease, combined with atrophy around the eye increases the chance of eye infection.

 

Changes In Cornea With Age

Changes are usually related to disease and not aging.

Changes In The Iris With Age

The colored part of the eye, becomes more rigid, the pupil becomes smaller.

Changes In The Lens With Age

Shape changes as new lens fibres grow at the periphery, forcing older fibres to move to the center forming a denser central section. This makes us susceptible to glaucoma. The lens progressively accumulates yellow substances, possibly from a chemical reaction involving sunlight with amino acids in the lens. These substances reduce the amount of light and color entering the eye, and this yellow filtering causes the lens to become less transparent to the blue part of the color spectrum. To older eyes, blue appears greenish blue. occur,

Changes In The Vitreous Body With Age

The jellylike substance inside of the eye tends to shrink, causing traction, or pulling, on the retina. It also becomes more liquid, and densities may form in it that produce visual images called floaters.

Changes In Retina With Age

Blood vessel disease involving the retina is common resulting in changes in the blood supply of the retina. This contributes to macular degeneration, one of the most common causes of vision loss as we age

Changes in vision are due to a number of factors that occur with aging:

  • Elasticity of the Lens - presbyopia, a condition in which it becomes harder to focus on nearby objects is mainly due to decreased elasticity of the lens and atrophy of the muscle that controls the lens shape. It affects men and women equally and begins in our early twenties, although it is usually not noticeable until 20 or 30 years later.
  • Change in the diameter of the pupil - loss of the focusing power of the lens, and increased scattering of light reduces the sharpness of our vision when looking at static objects. Our ability to discriminate detail in a moving object, decreases more rapidly as we age than static acuity. This decline is partly due to a loss of the cells along the visual pathway in the brain.
  • Changes in the shape of our eyes and the formation of cataracts reduce visual acuity. Women are more likely than men to have cataracts. Unprotected exposure of the eyes to the sun is a major cause of cataracts.
  • Ability to adapt to abrupt change from light to dark areas is a reliable age marker; the change is so significant that a person's age may be predicted to within three years on the basis of this performance. For example, after two minutes of reduced illumination, young eyes are almost five times as sensitive as older people's eyes; after 40 minutes, there is a 240-fold difference.
  • Ability to discriminate objects in the presence glare declines with age. Older people require 50 to 70 percent more light than younger people to recognize an object near a source of glare. This is caused by the older opaque lens scattering of peripheral light resulting in a greater apparent sensation of glare Removing the lens because of a cataract decreases this perceived glare.


Presbyopia

Presbyopia is the most well known eyesight related change with aging, commonly known as short-sightedness. The effect of presyopia is that it becomes more dificult to read in low lighting or to read materials at short distances. More on Presbyopia

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD

Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is a degenerative condition of the macula (the central retina). It is the most common cause of vision loss in the United States in those 50 or older, and its prevalence increases with age. AMD is caused by hardening of the arteries that nourish the retina. This deprives the sensitive retinal tissue of oxygen and nutrients that it needs to function and thrive. As a result, the central vision deteriorates. The symptoms of ARMD are:

  • Loss of central vision - This may be gradual for those with the dry type. Patients with the wet type may experience a sudden decrease of the central vision. Difficulty reading or performing tasks that require the ability to see detail.
  • Distorted vision - Straight lines such as a doorway or the edge of a window may appear wavy or bent.

Recent studies have demonstrated a strong link between nutrition and the development of macular degeneration. People with diets high in fruits and vegetables [specially leafy green vegetables] have a lower incidence of macular degeneration. More on macular degeneration.


For Treatments of age related eye conditions

Nutritional Supplements to improve eyesight and prevent aging.

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NEXT: Changes In Hearing With Age


 

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