As you get older, you may notice that your eyesight is getting worse. You might have more trouble driving at night and colors may not be as vibrant as they once were. With over half of the population developing cataracts at some point in their lives, you are not alone.
While some symptoms are common as you get older, such as a decreased ability to read fine print and visual floaters, other signs are a cause for concern. If you experience any of the following symptoms, contact your eye care provider immediately:
- vision suddenly is lost or blurry without explanation
- quick flashes of light appear out of nowhere
- your eyes hurt
- your eye becomes red or swollen
- you see double
Most people begin to have trouble reading small print once they reach their early 40’s. This is because the eyes take longer to focus, and eventually are not able to adjust to small print as they once did. Reading glasses will usually help this problem and there is no further need for intervention.
If you notice that colors are less vibrant, and you have trouble driving at night, you may have a cataract starting. Cataracts are a slow buildup of protein deposits that cloud up the lens of your eye. Cataracts are now easily treated in outpatient surgery, and are no reason for concern. In fact, you may not need glasses once you have cataract surgery to remove the clouded lenses.
One of the bigger eyesight emergencies is a retinal detachment. As eyes get older, retinal detachment is more likely to occur. Visually, you may see new floaters, or different colored flashes. If you have eyesight that has changed rapidly, you need to go see your eye doctor.
With a retinal detachment, it is possible to repair the problem if it is caught in time. Waiting to see the eye doctor when there is a retinal detachment may result in a permanent loss of eyesight in that eye.
Over the years, protect your eyesight with UV ray sunglasses and avoid harsh lighting whenever possible. Meet with your eye doctor regularly to establish how your eyesight is on a consistent basis. When there is a problem, call your doctor right away to avoid further complications.