Keeping an Eye on Your Vision

It’s a common sight everywhere-baby boomers extending their arms and straining to read menus and newspapers. While this may be a normal part of aging, other more serious eye diseases often occur as we age; many without noticeable symptoms.

Today, nearly one-third of Americans over 40 have a vision problem. And some of these vision problems, like glaucoma or age-related macular degeneration, can cause permanent vision loss if left undetected. What’s more, the number of blind or visually impaired Americans is expected to double by the year 2020 as baby boomers age.

“It’s important for adults to visit an eye doctor if they notice any change in their vision, especially if they are over 40 years of age,” said ophthalmologist Elaine G. Hathaway, M.D. “Some sight-threatening conditions have no early warning signs and can only be detected through an eye exam.”

Undetected vision problems often lead to a loss of independence, preventing Americans from driving, engaging in their favorite hobbies, reading and even performing chores around the house. The good news is that an eye exam can detect many sight-threatening conditions before vision loss occurs.

The Vision Council of America recommends that Americans 40 and older receive regular eye exams to ensure good vision and overall health. Make sure to talk to your eye doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:

• Cloudy or blurry vision

• Colors that seem faded

• Poor night vision

• Double or multiple vision

• Loss of peripheral vision