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How Does Aging Affect Your Eyes?

eyes aging

3 Tips to Preserve Your Eyesight

Maintaining good vision is important as you age. Protect your eyesight by following these tips:

See Your Eye Doctor Every Year

Your optometrist will examine your eyes and look for any conditions that could affect your eyesight. During a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor will dilate your eyes, in addition to updating your eyeglass or contact lens prescription. Dilation allows him or her to look for changes in your retina, macula and optic nerve.

Visit Your Family Doctor Also

Several health conditions, including diabetes and high blood pressure, can damage the eyes if untreated. These conditions are often detected during a visit to your doctor. If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure or diabetes, prompt treatment can help you avoid damage to your eyes.

Wear Sunglasses

Sunglasses do more than shield your eyes from glare. They also protect you from the damaging effects of ultraviolet light. UV light exposure can contribute to the formation of cataracts and macular degeneration. Make sure your sunglasses block 100 percent of UV-A and UV-B rays.

Aging causes changes in every part of your body, including your eyes. Although adjusting to some of these changes is no more difficult than tweaking your eyeglass prescription, others can affect your eye health. These age-related eye problems are particularly common.


Reading glasses become a necessity for most people at some point during their 40s. The problem occurs due to a condition called presbyopia. As you age, the lens inside your eye begins to harden, which makes it more difficult for your eyes to focus.

Dry Eyes

Changes related to aging can also cause your eyes to become drier, particularly if you are a woman who has gone through menopause. Dry eyes burn and itch. You may notice that you develop eyestrain when you use the computer or read because of your dry eyes. Lubricating eye drops can help relieve your symptoms.


Have you ever noticed tiny pieces of string floating across your field of vision? These tiny specks are called "floaters" and occur when the vitreous, the gel-like substance inside your eye, starts to shrink slightly. When this happens, the vitreous sheds small strands, which then float back and forth across your visual field. Floaters are generally harmless; however, if you suddenly see a large number of floaters or notice that floaters are accompanied by flashing lights, see your optometrist as soon as possible. These symptoms can occur if you experience a vitreous or retinal detachment.


Cataracts occur when the lens at the center of your eye becomes cloudy. If your cataract becomes large enough and interferes with your vision, your optometrist will probably recommend surgery to remove it. During cataract surgery, the cloudy lens is replaced with an artificial lens.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration causes changes to the macula, the area of your retina that controls central vision. If you have this condition, you may notice that your central vision is blurry, or there are blank spots in your central vision. When you have age-related macular degeneration, it can be hard to read, drive or recognize faces. There are two forms of macular degeneration: dry and wet. Anti-oxidant supplements may be recommended if you have the dry form. Preventing blood vessels in the macula from leaking is the goal of treatment for the wet form. Laser treatments to seal vessels and injections that prevent new blood vessels from forming can help.

Diabetic Retinopathy

If you have diabetes, it's important to be aware of the signs of diabetic retinopathy, which include blurred vision, trouble with night vision and dark spots in your center vision. The condition occurs when small vessels in your retina leak blood or fluids, clouding your vision.


Glaucoma occurs when the pressure in your eye is too high and can lead to permanent vision loss. In many cases, people do not have any symptoms initially. Glaucoma can be detected with a simple test at your optometrist's office. If you are diagnosed with the condition, prescription medications, eye drops or surgery can help preserve your vision.

Changes to Peripheral Vision

As you age, your peripheral, or side, vision decreases by as much as 20 to 30 degrees by your 70s or 80s. Loss of peripheral vision can make it more difficult to do many things, including driving. Although there is nothing you can do about peripheral vision loss, it's important to be aware of your new limitations.

Are you concerned about vision changes related to aging? Call us and schedule an appointment for a comprehensive vision exam, including glaucoma testing.

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Great service! Dr Gertsberger is wonderful. He takes care of my whole family and we have all been pleased with our eye care.

SylnJoey R.
Garden City, KS

Dr. Michael Houseman took great care of my 92-year-old father, who can't hear very well at all, and who gets confused easily. He was very patient and kind, and spent extra time giving him the best prescription possible. When we went to get glasses, they were able to cut the lenses in house, very affordably.

Mark Berg

AMAZING customer service! The doctor and staff were incredible to work with and really care about their patients. They explained everything and were extremely helpful!

Samantha Roecker

Great Drs. and friendly staff.

Cheryl Messenger

What fan can I say? If you need prompt, professional eye care, Garden City Optometrists is where you need to go for the best eye care in Southwest Kansas...they'll keep an eye out for you. (:-) Art Gomez, Scott City, Kansas

Art Gomez

This place has been in operation for more than 100 years, so they must be doing something right. That "something" is prompt, professional service. I've never had to wait long for an appointment or to be seen once I arrive at the office. The staff knows what they're doing, and I've never walked away unhappy.

Ashley F

I was shopping for my third set of glasses from Garden City Optometrists. The entire staff got in on the experience, showing me frames that they thought would work well for me. We didn't find exactly what I was looking for, so they ordered some more examples. I've had nothing but great experiences with all of the doctors and staff here. See you guys in a few days for my new frames!

Sean Collins

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