Treatment of open-angle glaucoma -- the most common form of the disease -- requires lowering the eye's pressure by increasing the drainage of aqueous humor or decreasing the production of the fluid. Medications can accomplish both of these goals. Surgery and laser treatments are directed at improving the eye's aqueous drainage.
If not diagnosed early, open-angle glaucoma may significantly damage vision and even cause blindness. That is why it's so important to have your eye doctor test you regularly...
Your eyes start having trouble focusing on objects close up. Doctors call that presbyopia.
Symptoms of presbyopia include:
Trouble reading small print
What causes presbyopia? Over time, the lens of the eye hardens. Muscles around the lens also change with age. These changes make it harder for the lens to work.
An eye care professional can diagnose presbyopia and correct it with contact lenses or eyeglasses. Bifocals are glasses with the higher focusing power in the lower part of the lens. If you do not need glasses for distance, you may need only reading glasses or half-glasses. For some people, surgery is also an option to correct presbyopia.
Cataracts cloud vision. Technically, they are a disorder, not a normal aging change. But they're a change to expect because nearly 3 out of 4 people have them by age 75.
Symptoms of a cataract may include:
Blurry, cloudy, or dim vision
Double vision with one eye
Trouble seeing at night or in dim light
Halos around lights
Sensitivity to light and glare
Faded or yellow colors, or trouble telling the difference between blues and greens (color perception)
Trouble seeing an object against a background of the same color
At earlier stages, simply changing your eyeglass or contact lens prescription is all you need. Using brighter lights for reading or a magnifying glass may also help. If halos or glare are a problem, limit night driving. Sunglasses and tinted lenses can improve driving comfort during the day. See your eye doctor for any concerns you have.
If a cataract begins to interfere with your day-to-day life, an ophthalmologist can do surgery to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with a clear lens implant.
Floaters are usually a harmless, natural part of aging. They are shadows of vitreous, which is the gel-like substance that makes the eye round, cast on the retina.
Floaters can appear as spots, threadlike strands, or squiggly lines that drift around, even when your eye stops moving. They are most obvious when you look at something bright, like a blue sky. They are more common in people who are very nearsighted or who have had cataract surgery.
If you suddenly notice many floaters, it may mean a part of the vitreous has pulled away from the retina all at once, sometimes with a tear in the retina. If you also have a loss of peripheral vision, along the sides of what you’re seeing, and light flashes, the retina may be lifting from its normal position. This is a retinal detachment. It can cause permanent vision loss, even blindness, if not treated. Seek immediate medical attention by seeing your eye doctor. If surgery is necessary, an ophthalmologist or a “retina specialist” may be called upon to treat the condition.