Our St. Albert, Alberta, eye doctor explains all about presbyopia and macular degeneration
Just as your body changes with age, so do your eyes and vision. While the types of changes you experience are individual, there are some common vision symptoms that many people notice between the ages of 41 to 60. Presbyopia and the onset of macular degeneration are both typical age-related conditions that our St. Albert eye doctor can diagnose during your eye exam.
It’s so common, this refractive error is considered a natural part of aging. Know anyone with reading glasses or bifocals middle aged or older? They probably have it.
What are the signs of presbyopia?
Beginning around your early to mid-40s, you may start having difficulty seeing objects and print up close, such as when working at the computer or reading. Called presbyopia, this normal change in your eyes’ focusing ability progresses over time.
If you find it necessary to hold reading materials farther away or to remove your eyeglasses in order to see better up close, it’s likely presbyopia – which means it’s time to schedule an eye checkup near you.
How is presbyopia treated?
Your eye doctor will check your vision at a range of distances during your St. Albert eye exam. To determine the precise prescription you need for near vision, you’ll be asked to read from a card held close to your face. This measurement will be used to determine your vision prescription for reading glasses, bifocal eyeglasses or multifocal contact lenses. Nowadays, there’s an array of treatment options to give crisp vision with presbyopia.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
This eye disease is quite serious, and, unlike presbyopia, vision loss due to AMD can’t be corrected simply with glasses or contacts. Treatments can help; early detection is key.
What are the signs of macular degeneration?
In general, adults over 40 are at a higher risk of eye disease, especially if there’s a family history. In particular, macular degeneration is one of the more common age-related diseases that can lead to blindness, with estimates from the National Eye Institute putting the number of Americans with this condition at more than two million.
You may not notice the early signs of macular degeneration, which is why the disease often remains undetected until it gets worse or affects both eyes. The early symptoms can include:
- Blurred or poorer quality vision, with trouble reading fine print or driving
- Straight lines appear wavy or distorted
- An empty area – a blind spot – in your central field of vision
- Changes in colour perception (rare)
There is no cure for age-related macular degeneration, but treatments can slow the progression of the disease and help prevent vision loss. If you are diagnosed with macular degeneration during an eye exam, we’ll discuss the possible treatment options to start managing your condition as early as possible.
How can you keep your vision healthy as you age?
To help protect your eyes, schedule regular comprehensive eye exams with our eye doctor in St. Albert, Alberta. If you don’t have any vision complaints or a family history of eye disease, it’s recommended to get an eye checkup near you at least every two years, between the ages of 40 – 61. However, if you have any additional risk factors, eye doctors recommend having a yearly eye checkup.
At Eye Health Centre, we put your family's needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 780-419-7000 or book an appointment online to see one of our St. Albert eye doctors.
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