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What Is Not Normal in Aging Eye Health?

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.

Vision Fluctuations

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.

Categories: General Health, Eye health

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