The process of aging is known to cause many problems for people, including some eye related conditions. Even though some of these eye disorders can affect anybody regardless his or her age, it is proven that older patients are most likely to suffer from them. So, there are several common eye problems which usually affect adults, such as dry eyes, tearing, presbyopia, corneal and retinal diseases, as well as temporal arteritis, floaters, cataract and glaucoma.
Dry Eyes and Tearing in Adult Patients
These eye problems are very frequently seen in older people. If tear glands cannot produce good quality or enough tears, the person experiences discomfort, burning and itching sensation and in rare occasions even some vision loss. Tearing is a different problem, caused by oversensitivity of the eyes to temperature, wind or light sources. Wearing sunglasses or shielding the eyes may be helpful in this case, but if tearing is provoked by some infection of the eyes or a blockage of the tear duct, this condition requires proper treatment.
Cataract and Glaucoma
Cloudiness of a perfectly clear lens of the eye is known as cataract. This problem may seriously impair vision, especially because it usually does not cause any signs or symptoms until it gets very severe. Large and thick cataracts are the most problematic and doctors commonly advise surgical removal as standard treatment.
Glaucoma is another frequent eye problem, occurring due to buildup of pressure in the eye (intraocular pressure). Untreated glaucoma may be responsible for permanent vision loss and blindness in some patients, so it has to be treated with certain eye drops, medications or surgical procedure, depending on the case. Glaucoma also does not have to trigger any symptoms during its development and patients at risk are advised to regularly check their eyes.
Other Common Eye Problems
Presbyopia is actually inability to see close objects or read something written in small print. It occurs over time and most people do not realize they cannot see properly until they get into their 40s and are examined and prescribed eyeglasses.
Floaters are specks seen in the field of vision, which may indicate severe eye disorders like retinal detachment. In order to prevent any further problem, visit your ophthalmologist as soon as possible.
Temporal arteritis is a serious medical problem, without any identified causes so far but known to lead to sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes. This and any other condition associated with sudden vision loss must be considered and treated as medical emergency.
Retinal and corneal diseases are also more frequently seen in older adults. While corneal problems are commonly known to cause watery eyes, redness, pain, halo effect and impaired vision, retinal problems can be very serious and lead to blindness.