The eyes are, perhaps, the most overworked parts of the body and it’s not surprising to learn that among adults above 40 years old or older, at least 3.4 million people are legally blind, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP). Vision problems are all the more aggravated because of the way people make use of technology in their lives. How many of you reach out for your gadgets the moment you wake up and open your eyes to look for updates on your smartphones, iPads and laptops?
The eyesight’s health tends to deteriorate as you age. Vision loss and other problems happen slowly that sometimes people tend to disregard the symptoms as merely nuisance. And yet these nuisances can lead to serious consequences if not addressed. Sometimes, these symptoms may also indicate other health problems your body is experiencing.
Glaucoma damages the optic nerves. When left unchecked or untreated, it can lead to permanent blindness. Glaucoma has many types and the condition develops gradually. It may include common symptoms of other eye problems, like:
- Blurry vision, the most common of an eye problem.
- Constant redness of the eyes, as though it is always irritated.
- Pain in the eyes, accompanied by vomiting.
- Loss of peripheral vision, where you tend to bump into things or have difficulty detecting anything to your left or right side.
Sometimes though, glaucoma develops without any signs at all. But a random eye exam can detect when there is an obstruction inside the eyes that puts pressure on the nerves.
AMD or Age-related Macular Degeneration
The macula is found in the retina and may undergo changes as you age. This is more present among people who are above 50 years old. Some ways to tell if you have this is when
- You see colors as faded or washed out.
- You strain and bob your head when you try to look at street signs.
- Straight lines appear crooked to you.
If you have AMD, activities like reading and sewing may start to get difficult, that you would rather not want to do it.
Blurry vision generally happens with most eyesight problems but apart from this, a person who is developing cataracts will start to become irritated by light and glare, and yet she will also exhibit poor night vision. Additionally, the lens of the eye will begin changing its color to brown or yellow as the cataracts progress. The lens will start to look cloudy and dirty, as well.
Melanoma of the Eye (Skin Cancer)
Although rare and quite harder to catch, cancer may manifest symptoms in the area around the eyelids, where it is most delicate and sensitive. The cancer, however, is not fatal. But it can lead to serious eye damage, including blindness. A clear indication that this could be developing is when the lids start to droop as though you’re always looking tired. Bumps accompanied by some bleeding or irritation could also form in the area around the eyes, while those dark circles, no matter how you treat it, won’t go away. Other types of eye cancer include intraocular cancers and lymphoma of the eye.
A developing type 2 diabetes condition can sometimes lead to a complication that causes the blood vessels around the retina to malfunction. When this happens, your vision may start to fluctuate. There will be times when you’ll experience blurriness, especially when doing simple activities like sewing or reading. If this happens often, you have to get your eyes checked. If you were, in fact, diagnosed with diabetes, doctors advise for you to undergo eye exams regularly since the condition can bring permanent retinal damage.
Despite being overworked and abused, the eyes are generally resilient. The best way to keeping eyes healthy is through prevention and proper care.
- Avoid causing eyestrain and let your eye muscles rest daily.
- Take a break and close your eyes when it starts to feel tired.
- Use sufficient light when you work or read.
- Some experts say that it’s actually helpful for the eyesight to stare into something green or distant to relax the nerves.
- Don’t immediately wash your face after your eyes has been exposed to books, the television or the computer for hours.
- Keep an eye drop with you, especially if your eyes are prone to dryness and itching.
- Lastly, if the problems have been recurring, it’s best to see an ophthalmologist to have this checked. It’s better to catch the problems early than to suffer the consequences later.
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