What Causes Vision Loss in Middle Age?

If you’re middle-aged you may have noticed some subtle changes to your vision in recent times. You may be contemplating a visit to your optician and the possibility of getting some prescription glasses or contact lenses for the first time ever. As you’ve never had a problem with your vision before, what is happening now to prompt these changes?

The Gradual Change

Essentially, the reason behind your change in vision is quite simple – you’re getting older. With the technology available today, however, that doesn’t have to be a big deal. While there are certainly some other diseases which can develop in certain types of eye with advancing age, the normal effect of “getting older” can be handled fairly easily.

Welcome to the Club

The condition that you are experiencing right now is probably due to presbyopia, which is a condition that affects virtually everybody. It is a symptom that relates to the lens in your eye in particular. This is the structure that focuses the light coming through the front of your eye onto the retina, which is where those light signals are converted into readable signals and transferred to the brain.

What Goes Wrong?

As people age, the lens become less pliable and are not able to work as well as before. They need to have the ability to change shape ever so slightly, so that images that are very far away can be brought into focus just as readily as those that are close by. This loss of pliability happens gradually through the lifetime, but doesn’t become noticeable until people usually reach middle age. This is when the lens effectively lose the ability to focus over such a wide range. They are typically still able to focus on very distant objects, but cannot adjust to objects that are close by. It’s also possible that the lens can “fix” on close objects, but not on those that are distant.

Seeing Clearly Now

There’s only one treatment for presbyopia, and that is to start wearing prescription eyewear to counteract the loss of adjustment. Essentially what you’re doing is adding an additional lens so that you’re able to focus in on the distant or the near object, according to your requirement.

Getting Your Own Pair

There are many different options available to help you deal with age-related presbyopia and a huge variety of different frames in order to house the lenses. You may not be used to wearing glasses, but you can start to make your own fashion statement at the same time as you say hello to middle age.

Prescription glasses: it’s about the look

The most important part of a pair of prescription glasses is the lenses, the frame is simply to hold the lenses in place. For those who have to wear glasses every day, though, the look of the glasses matters.

Choosing a frame for prescription glasses

There are hundreds of different frames available to fit prescription lenses, from the more affordable, practical models, through the range of designer glasses frames. When choosing frames, the first consideration should be the suitability for the lenses.

The higher the prescription, the thicker the lens will need to be. Lenses also get thicker as they increase in size, so the higher the prescription, the smaller the frames should be.  This is particularly important for children, whose faces will not support large frames.

Things to think about when choosing a frame for prescription glasses

  • Choose a frame that will fit the shape of your face.
  • Try to match the colour of the frame to your skin tone.
  • Consider how much of a fashion statement you want your glasses to be.
  • Make sure that the frame you choose is suited to your lifestyle. If you are actively involved in sport, you should choose a hardier, more durable frame.

Points to remember when choosing kids glasses frames

  • Keep the frames as small as possible, especially if the prescription is high.
  • Choose frames that the child will be comfortable in and will happily wear.
  • The frames must fit the child’s face properly, especially on the bridge of the nose and over the ears.
  • The frames must be durable and able to withstand some level of abuse.

Glasses or contact lenses?

The choice to wear glasses or contact lenses is most often purely personal.

Glasses are very convenient – there is no need to prepare them, store them in any kind of solution, or clean them with special chemicals or liquid, as with contact lenses. Glasses are worn and removed with ease. They are effortlessly stored in a case and can, when necessary, be cleaned with almost any kind of soft cloth.

The choice to wear contact lenses can either be aesthetic or practical. Some people simply feel more comfortable with their appearance in contact lenses. Then there are those who are involved in sports and other activities for whom prescription glasses are an inconvenience, as they fug up, get knocked off or slip down the nose. They can also be spattered by the rain. Contact lenses are more convenient in these contexts. 

Cataract Surgery- Tips To Speed Up Your Recovery Time

Cataract surgery can give you back your sight.  When your surgery has been carried out by a cataract specialist, recovery time should be uneventful and relatively quick.  Here are some top tips to help speed up your recovery time following cataract surgery.

Doctor’s orders

Following your surgery, your optometrist will fit a transparent eye shield over your eye to protect it.  Although it can be tempting to take the shield off to ‘test’ your eye, you must leave it in place until you are advised otherwise.  This is especially important at night, when you might unintentionally try to rub or scratch your eye while you are asleep.

You will probably also be given antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops to use.  These are designed to prevent infection and to keep inflammation of the operation site to a minimum.  You must use these as directed by your specialist for the first week or so following your surgery to minimise your recovery time.

Safe activities 

You can safely use your computer and watch the television for short periods the day after your surgery, provided that you keep sessions brief to avoid eye strain.

Speedy recovery tips

Follow these quick tips to ensure a quick and safe recovery from your cataract surgery.

  • Avoid driving for a few days.  This allows your vision to settle without putting pressure on the operation site.  
  • When you go outside, wear polarised sunglasses for a couple of weeks.  Your eye will be sensitive to light immediately following surgery and exposure to bright sunlight could irritate or damage it.  Wearing glasses will also give your eye protection from windblown dust that could irritate your eye.  
  • Avoid strenuous activity for a month or so following surgery.  A workout at the gym might seem like a good idea, but it could raise your blood pressure, putting undue strain on your eye.  
  • For a few days following the procedure, try not to bend over.  This can put additional pressure on your eye, leading to discomfort and possibly aggravating inflammation.  
  • Take extra care when moving around in unfamiliar surroundings following your surgery.  It’s really important that you don’t bump into anything that could damage your eye, especially once you’ve taken the shield off.  
  • Although you may feel some slight irritation, resist the urge to rub your eyes.  This could damage the operation site and lead to infection.  
  • Don’t go swimming or use your hot tub for the first week or so following surgery.  The chemicals in the water could irritate your eye and leave it vulnerable to infection.

In conclusion

Cataract surgery can give you back your sight.  Follow the aftercare instructions given to you by your optometrist or cataracts specialist, and use the top tips above to help you along the road to a speedy recovery from your surgery.

What You Should Know About Glaucoma

Among the different eye conditions you can get as an older adult, glaucoma is one of the more common. This disease can cause partial or full blindness over time to the pressure it puts on your optic nerve. Here are some things to know about glaucoma and what you can do about it.

Types of Glaucoma

The first thing to know about glaucoma is that there are different types to be aware of. One type of glaucoma is called angle-closure, which occurs when the angle of your eye becomes narrowed and eventually blocks entirely. This is where drainage occurs, so if it becomes blocked, more pressure builds up in your eye, leading to a loss of vision. In addition to your vision difficulties, this type of glaucoma may also cause eye pain, headaches, or even nausea. Open-angle glaucoma is the other type and it is a little more common. The open angle of the drainage area of your eye is blocked, which then leads to vision loss. Unfortunately, this type of glaucoma has very few symptoms so you may not notice it until you have vision loss or when you visit your optometrist.

The Potential Causes of Glaucoma

The exact cause of glaucoma and why some people get it while others don’t isn’t entirely known. However, glaucoma forms as a result of pressure on the optic nerve or due to a lack of blood flow. If you have extra eye pressure for long periods of time, it might increase your risk for glaucoma, though even people with normal eye pressure can get it. You are also at a higher risk if you are an older adult or if someone in your family has had it, since it can be genetic.

Warning Signs and Symptoms

While some forms of glaucoma don’t cause many symptoms, there are some early warning signs you should watch out for. These might be very subtle but can let you know that there is something wrong with your eyes and vision. Remember that glaucoma can occur in one or both of your eyes, so it won’t necessarily happen with both eyes. For example, if you have frequent double vision, dark spots in your vision, or distorted edges and lines when looking at something, they could be early warning signs. Some other warning signs include not being to adjust your vision in a dark room, having to squint due to frequent glares, or trouble focusing on objects far away.

Diagnosing Glaucoma

There are a number of tests that will be performed by your optometrist to determine if you have glaucoma. You should either visit them during a routine visit or you notice any of the aforementioned early warning signs. Some tests that are performed when looking for glaucoma are the visual acuity test, field test, and a dilated eye exam. The optometrist might also perform a tonometry test.