As we age, so do our eyes, so proper eye care for seniors is essential, says NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital ophthalmologist Phillip J. Calenda, MD. He explains that with age comes increased risk of serious ocular problems including cataracts (in which lenses on the eye become cloudy), dry eyes, glaucoma (in which pressure behind the eye leads to damage of the optic nerve), macular degeneration (a deterioration of the central portion of the retina), and diabetic retinopathy.
“Glare and difficulty seeing at night can be signs of cataracts as well as dry eyes,” Calenda says. “Decreased or blurry vision goes along with macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. Glaucoma, unfortunately, is asymptomatic until very advanced, and once vision is lost it cannot be restored.”
But healthy habits go a long way in combating these age-related issues. To preserve your eye health, Calenda recommends staying fit, eating green leafy vegetables, wearing UV protection when outside, having annual eye exams and complying with prescribed treatment plans. “Noncompliance is the leading cause in patients diagnosed with eye disease.”