At every stage of life, regular eye examinations and screening tests are
a cornerstone of preventive wellness.
Eye health does change with advancing age, but certain changes may indicate underlying
eye diseases that require treatment. Your ophthalmologist can detect problems
early, recommend appropriate treatments, and help you learn the differences
between common age-related eye health changes compared to eye diseases.
Rapid Vision Loss
The sudden onset of vision loss is a red flag. It’s important to
call 911 for emergency care if sudden vision loss occurs, since it may
be indicative of a stroke. Other possible causes of rapid vision loss
also require prompt attention, including retinal detachment and some infections
of the retina.
Floaters and Flashes
Do you see a
small spot or a flash of light in your vision? Floaters are spots in your field of vision that are present
regardless of where you look. Small floaters can actually be considered
a normal issue of the aging eye; they’re caused by tiny particles
that float in the intraocular fluid. What isn’t normal is the sudden
appearance of lots of noticeable floaters, perhaps accompanied by flashes
of light. The sudden onset of floaters and flashes can indicate a retinal
tear, which may lead to retinal detachment. This requires emergency care.
Does your vision seem sharp in the morning and blurry in the evening? Perhaps
you’ve received a new eyeglass prescription that suited you initially,
yet later seemed too strong or too weak. Fluctuating vision is not uncommon,
but it’s also not a normal part of the aging process. In fact, it
may indicate underlying diabetes or high blood pressure. This is one reason
why your ophthalmologist might recommend that you consider speaking with
a physician about your overall health.
Peripheral Vision Impairments
Even when a person stares straight ahead, he or she is able to see images
on either side thanks to peripheral vision. If you begin losing your peripheral
vision, it’s important to see an ophthalmologist promptly. This
is often a sign of glaucoma. Glaucoma occurs due to damage inflicted on
the optic nerve.
For high-quality healthcare at every stage of life, you can put your trust in
Kendall Regional Medical Center. Our community hospital and Emergency Department in Miami have made it
our mission to help our neighbors live life well. For a referral to a
physician, call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (305) 222-2200.