Ahead of World Sight Day on 10 October, Ruth Lalor, director of the Newlands and Newton Mearns stores highlights some of the eye conditions that become more common as we age.
'When we hit 40, our eyes start to change – and by the age of 65, it’s very likely we will need glasses or contact lenses.
'More mature eyes may need some extra assistance and are also at a higher risk of developing certain eye conditions, which require expert attention.
'With an early diagnosis, most age-related eye conditions can be managed effectively.'
'Over time, the eye’s natural lens becomes less flexible and, as a result, the muscles controlling its shape grow less efficient. This makes it difficult to adjust between distance and reading vision.
'Known as presbyopia, this affects everyone at some point but develops most commonly during your 40s. An up-to-date prescription for reading glasses from your optician is usually all it takes to correct this.'
'Glaucoma gradually destroys eyesight through raised pressure within the eyeball. There are no obvious symptoms of early glaucoma, which means that significant damage can occur before the person is even aware of the condition.
'Glaucoma is caused by the fluid in your eye being produced quicker than it drains resulting in the pressure inside the eye being too high. The pressure can then damage the optic nerve at the back of the eye. The optic nerve is important for sight because it’s the pathway for the signals from your retina, the light-sensitive cells at the back of your eye, to your brain.
'Glaucoma is easily detectable during a routine eye check and most cases can be effectively treated with eye drops. Early diagnosis is important because any damage to the eyes cannot be reversed. Treatment aims to control the condition and minimise future damage.'
'Cataracts are common in the over-60s and, if left untreated, may lead to loss of sight. The condition causes the eye’s lens to become opaque which blurs or ‘clouds’ your vision. Early-stage cataracts do not require treatment, but when spectacles are no longer good enough for the person’s day-to-day activities, surgery can be offered to treat the cataract.'
Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
AMD is the leading cause of vision loss in people over the age of 65. It happens when the macula, located in the retina and responsible for central vision, isn’t able to function as well as it used to due to age. There are steps you can take to reduce the risk of developing AMD, such as stopping smoking or protecting your eyes from the sun. For the wet type of AMD, early diagnosis and treatment is vital.
If you are concerned about your sight, book an appointment for an eye examination with our team as promptly as possible.