Facts and Questions About Cataracts
Vision Changes as You Age – Over the Age of 60?
Just as our physical strength decreases with age, our eyes also exhibit an age-related decline in performance – particularly as we reach our 60s and beyond.
Some age-related eye changes, such as presbyopia, are perfectly normal and don’t signify any sort of disease process. While cataracts can be considered an age-related disease, they are extremely common among young adults as well as seniors and can be readily corrected with cataract surgery.
Some of us, however, will experience more serious age-related eye diseases that have greater potential for affecting our quality of life as we grow older. These conditions include glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.
Q: When do age-related vision changes occur and what are they called? PRESBYOPIA
A: After you pass the milestone age of 40, you’ll notice it’s more difficult to focus on objects up close. This normal loss of focusing ability is called presbyopia, and is due to hardening of the lens inside your eye.
For a time, you can compensate for this decline in focusing ability by just holding reading material farther away from your eyes. But eventually, you’ll need reading glasses, multifocal contact lenses or multifocal eyeglasses. Some corrective surgery options for presbyopia also are available, such as Monovision LASIK or Refractive Lens Exchange.
Even though cataracts are considered an age-related eye disease, they are so common among young adults as well as seniors that they can also be classified as a normal aging change. Statistic show about half of all 65-year-old Americans have some degree of cataract formation in their eyes. As you enter your 70s, the percentage is even higher. It’s estimated that by 2020 more than 30 million Americans will have cataracts.
However, you don’t have to be a senior to develop cataracts, some individuals are born with cataracts, and others can develop a cataract from and injury to the head or steroids and radiation. Thankfully, modern cataract surgery is not only the most performed surgery in the US today it is extremely safe and so effective that 100% of vision lost to cataract formation usually is restored. If you are noticing vision changes due to cataracts, don’t hesitate to discuss symptoms with Dr. Brian Brown. It’s often better to have cataracts removed before they advance too far. With Multifocal lens implants available, today patients can potentially have all ranges of vision including near, distance and intermediate, thus reducing your need for reading glasses as well as distance glasses after cataract surgery.