How Eye Health Changes As You Age

No matter how old you are, it’s never too late to focus on ways you can safeguard your vision. Doing so will enable you to maintain your independence and continue to enjoy all the benefits that clear vision brings—day in and day out, year after year.

Aging and Eye Health

Aging is a natural part of life, which means that it’s normal for your body to undergo noticeable changes as the years pass by. However, Some of these changes can be concerning, especially as they relate to your vision. Being aware of how your eyes can change helps prepare you to take the measures necessary to protect your eyesight and maintain optimal eye health now as well as in the years to come.

Changes In Vision

While you can experience eye problems at any age, many of the following changes in vision are commonly associated with aging. Below are some different kind of changes that can happen to your vision.

Dry Eyes

Over time, the tear glands within your eyes won’t produce enough tears to keep your eyes adequately lubricated, which results in dry eyes. Dry eyes can cause itching or burning, leading to discomfort and irritation. Sometimes dry eyes have the potential to damage your vision. Lubricating eye drops work well to remedy dry eyes.

Floaters and flashes

If you notice tiny spots or specks across your field of vision, you may have floaters. Floaters tend to be most noticeable when you’re outside on a sunny day or looking at a plain, bright background (a blue wall, for instance). Persistent floaters can be a nuisance. While most floaters are harmless, sometimes floaters indicate a more serious eye condition that needs to be addressed by your eye doctor.

Flashes are similar to floaters in that they create a visual disturbance across your field of vision and can sometimes serve as a symptom of a more serious underlying eye condition. Flashes involve seeing one or more brief flashes of light, flickering bright spots, or jagged/wavy lines. Flashes can last anywhere from a few seconds to up to 30 minutes.


Presbyopia refers to a decline in the ability to comfortably view objects up-close and read fine print. This is one of the most common age-related eye changes that many adults will begin experiencing, some as early as age 35. Presbyopia occurs when the lens within your eye gradually hardens, making it difficult for your aging eyes to clearly see the objects or text in front of you. Symptoms of presbyopia include squinting, eye fatigue, and frequent headaches.


Tearing, also known as epiphora, involves your tear glands producing too many tears, usually as a result of a sensitivity to sunlight, wind, temperature changes, and other factors. Sometimes, however, tearing is a sign of a blocked tear duct or an active eye infection.

Eye Diseases

Most of the following eye diseases develop slowly, and it’s possible for you not to experience any signs or symptoms. Being cognizant of these conditions can help you detect them as early as possible and manage them effectively.

Age-Related macular degeneration (AMD)

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects the part of the eye called the macula. The macula is part of the retina, and it’s responsible for sharp and detailed vision. As you age, this area of your retina loses cells, which results in blurred or distorted vision and, in more severe cases, loss of vision. Nutritional supplements can help in the early stages of this eye disease, but patients with severe cases of AMD may need to seek therapy, medical injections, or surgical treatments to help slow the progression.


Your vision should always be clear—not cloudy. If cloudiness becomes an issue, you may have cataracts. Cataracts blur your vision, making it difficult for you to focus on people and things both near and far. Some cataracts stay small, but those that don’t can interfere with your ability to perform daily activities such as reading and driving. Large, thick cataracts can be removed surgically.

Diabetes-Related Retinopathy

According to Cleveland Clinic, diabetes-related retinopathy disorder is a complication of diabetes that “occurs when small blood vessels stop feeding the retina properly.” Some patients will have blurred vision, floaters, blind spots, and cloudiness, while others will have no symptoms at all. If you have diabetes, it’s imperative to manage your blood sugar levels and receive an annual eye exam, which can help prevent vision loss or blindness.


When the optic nerve in your eye is subjected to increased high pressure, the nerve can become damaged and glaucoma can result. The optic nerve sends visual information to the brain, making this eye disease one that needs to be treated as soon as possible in order to avoid permanent vision loss and blindness. Heredity, age, race, diabetes, and the use of some medications can increase your risk of glaucoma. Since glaucoma can easily go undetected, an annual vision exam will allow your optometrist to examine your optic nerve and measure the pressure within your aging eyes.

Retinal Detachment

Your retina (a thin layer of tissue in the back of your eye) can detach from an underlying piece of tissue that plays a role in relaying visual information to the brain and supplying your retina with the oxygen and nutrients it needs to remain healthy. If you experience wavy vision (as if you are swimming underwater with your eyes open), floaters, flashes, or dark shadows in your field of vision, it’s likely that your retina needs to be surgically reattached by your trusted medical provider.

Temporal Arteritis

Temporal arteritis occurs when the blood vessels within your temples become obstructed and/or inflamed. This condition tends to occur in people over the age of 50, and women seem to be more susceptible than men. Symptoms of temporal arteritis include jaw pain, severe headaches, chronic fever, and visual disturbances, among others. If left untreated, temporal arteritis can cause sudden—and permanent—vision loss.

Prioritize Your Aging Eyes

Your eyes are incredible organs that make it possible for you to see and appreciate the world around you. Take good care of your aging eyes by scheduling routine eye exams and ensuring that your doctor knows if you have a family history of eye disease or have been diagnosed with diabetes.

No matter how old you are, it’s never too late to focus on ways you can safeguard your vision. Doing so will enable you to maintain your independence and continue to enjoy all the benefits that clear vision brings.

An eye exam is the first step to keeping your eyes healthy no matter what your age. Seaview Optical offers the latest eye care technology such as digital eye exams and a wide variety of designer frames. Schedule an eye exam today!

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Chris Childress

Store Manager

Chris Childress is the manager of Seaview Optical, a locally-owned company that has been providing quality eye care for over 30 years. Chris was born and raised in South Florida. He studied Political Science and International Relations at the University of Florida. Chris has been a part of the Seaview Optical family for over 20 years, as his sister was the store manager for 17 years before he took over as manager 8 years ago. Chris is an excellent leader who adores his hometown and takes special interest in the quality of life of the community.

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