Parents close to 40 or older, don’t lose sight over your eyesight. All eyes on these common issues.
By Marnie Adams, Contributor @ Kids In Perth 24 Aug 2022
Did you know our eyes are one of the first organs to develop inside the womb?
Its development is completed at around 10 weeks of pregnancy.
We use our eyes every day, and naturally over time, things change.
Usually, at around 40, it coincides with your inability to simply pick up something and read it.
You might find yourself holding things further and further away to read, and start having flashbacks to when you saw your parents or grandparents doing the same thing, thinking “Hah. Old people. That’ll never happen to me!”
Most people will tell you death and taxes are the two inevitabilities of life.
Ask an optometrist, they’ll tell you it’s presbyopia and cataracts.
Gallery | EyeQ Optometrist Karrinyup
Presbyopia is a condition which affects the crystalline lens inside the eye, reducing our ability to keep near objects in clear focus. It commonly occurs at around 40 years of age however long-sighted people may notice it at a younger age.
The crystalline lens is made of highly elastic tissue, which can readily bend and change shape in response to how close or far away something is from the eyes. As the lens ages, elasticity is lost so it takes longer for the lens to change its shape, which is why our near vision becomes increasingly blurred.
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Cataracts also affect the lens but have more to do with the protein fibres changing from being translucent, to opaque and yellow, as you age.
Cataracts affect not only clarity of vision, but also, cause light entering the eye to “scatter” across the retina (the back of the eye), increasing glare sensitivity in all lighting conditions.
Treatments/How to Manage
Everybody in their lifetime will be affected by presbyopia and cataracts, but the good news is, that both conditions are easily treated and managed.
For presbyopia, vision is improved with:
- Pair of reading glasses
- Or changing the spectacle lens from distance correction to a multifocal so you can see clearly both near and far.
- Difficulties at near distances are alleviated by ensuring direct and bright lighting conditions, and increased magnification on a mobile phone, tablet or computer.
Cataracts rarely lead to blindness in Australia and are easily treated by an ophthalmologist.
UV exposure, smoking, eye related trauma, and certain medications can accelerate the process of cataract development.
Another well-known age-related ocular condition is macular degeneration (AMD), which causes progressive loss in a person’s central vision while peripheral vision remains unaffected.
- Australia’s leading cause of blindness and visual impairment, with 1 in 7 people over 50 years of age affected.
- Exists in two forms, dry and wet.Dry AMD results in a gradual loss of central vision.Wet AMD can cause a sudden loss of central vision.
Unlike presbyopia and cataracts, AMD can be much harder to treat, especially if it is detected in the later stages of the disease.
Early detection through regular eye checks is the best way to manage AMD and slow its progression.
Dry AMD can be slowed through lifestyle and diet modifications, such as stopping smoking, eating dark leafy green vegetables, oily fish 2-3 times a week and taking a suitable vitamin supplement in consultation with your optometrist.
Wet AMD can be slowed down and treated with intra-ocular injections with an ophthalmologist.
Regular eye tests and ocular health assessments by an optometrist are important to ensure healthy eyes and clearer vision long-term.
Where to go? Personally, we suggest EyeQ Optometrists inside Karrinyup Shopping Centre because you're able to keep the kids entertained while you and your partner are able to get eye tests done.
When was your last eye test?
Why not take an eye test as a family this weekend?
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EyeQ Optometrists (Karrinyup)
(08) 9445 8870
Karrinyup Shopping Centre, Level 1 Shop 144, 200 Karrinyup Road, Karrinyup WA 6018