How does eyesight age?

When we think of seniors, we most often picture someone wearing glasses, notes Darya Darkovich, who specializes in senior care at Bravecare. Does this mean that every grandmother and grandfather must wear glasses to see well?
How does our eyesight age, and how do we take care of it so we can use this important sense for as long as possible? On the occasion of World Optometry Day and at the special invitation of Bravecare, a specialized company, we look at the issue of seniors’ eyesight with Olaf Tabaczynski, a well-known specialist in this area.

How does one’s eyesight age?

The aging process of eyesight is essentially an unstoppable process. The organ of sight ages along with our body. Each of us goes through these processes on an individual basis, and as a result, the changes that occur in our bodies affect us on different scales. Aging eyesight is more prone to disease, and the most common of these include primary glaucoma, macular degeneration, or AMD, diabetic retinopathy and cataracts. Changes associated with aging of the eyes and body include drooping eyelids. Slightly more already flaccid muscles mean that the pressure of the fascia on the eye structure can deform the entire visual organ system, especially in the front part. This causes the lens to warp and change the values we want to compensate for.
It is certainly worth noting that the aging process of vision is associated with reduced tear production, and the lubrication of our eye is reduced over time until it fully disappears, also through atrophy of the fatty tissue in the orbit. This can result in the collapse of the eyeball. It’s worth noting that over time in our eye-building nervous system, fibers within the hippocampus atrophy, and this causes the flow of information to be able to dynamically decrease. In this regard, it is worth noting that processes stretched over time are very individual, and not everyone will be confronted with such conditions. It is worth remembering that very often these types of changes can be delayed, and first of all, it is necessary to diagnose them at the beginning and realize that they exist at all.

Should visits to the ophthalmologist be regular in old age?

The regularity of the visits, which usually pertain to ophthalmology, is determined by the doctor and is related to the treatment of the visual organ, resulting from existing diseases, infections or changes that require medical support.

Can the elderly use contact lenses interchangeably?

As the organ of sight changes with age, our sclera is most often dehydrated and lipids are deposited on it. The conjunctiva loses its mucous cells and its vessels become more fragile and prone to breakage, and the cornea very often becomes more flattened over time.
It is worth noting that the lens of our eye itself becomes thicker and thicker with age, as it overgrows. It can be compared to a tree, the bark of which is shifting, new layers are being formed, this in turn leads to the stiffening of our lens and loss of its elasticity, often also to opacity. These few very important aspects are unlikely to predestine a senior citizen to wear contact lenses. Of course, I do not exclude specific situations, but as a rule, the eye of an elderly person is more rigid, and the contact lens has its own certain conditions. However, I do not exclude that perhaps in some situations it is a good solution.

What are the best glasses for a senior citizen?

For seniors’ tired eyesight, functional comfort is an important aspect when choosing eyeglasses. Eyeglasses should have lenses that allow us to see far and near, but also at intermediate values. Distant is the space where we walk, look and see what falls above 6 meters. Intermediate values, on the other hand, range between 40 cm and 6 m. Older people may get dizzy and not control the distance when it is darker. That’s when it’s a good idea to have eyeglasses with multiple features that provide safe vision.