Vision is important for our balance and gait however, as we age it is common for our visual function to decrease. Having impaired vision or underlying eye conditions can increase your risk of having a fall, as it’s harder for you to see hazards such as uneven footpaths, edges of steps or objects, and spills on the floor.
Regular eye health checks with your optometrist or ophthalmologist are recommended. Even if you think all is fine, things like age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma often don’t have early symptoms. An eye test can detect the early signs of eye conditions before the symptoms occur, many of which can be treated.
Here are five signs that you need to get your eyes checked.
Eye pain, dryness, redness, or irritation
These are the typical symptoms of dry eye syndrome. However, older adults may experience severe symptoms due to changes in tear production and often benefit from treatment by an optometrist or ophthalmologist.
Dry eye is a common issue that can progress to a significant issue if not managed appropriately.
Spots and floaters in your vision
Do you see floaters? If these tiny specks or spots that float across your vision persist, it’s a good idea to see an optometrist as it may be a sign of an underlying eye condition.
Blurred vision or halos around lights
If you are finding it harder to see people’s faces or objects, it’s time get your eyesight checked. You may need new glasses, or a stronger prescription. However, it could be caused by an underlying eye condition such as AMD which causes blurring and distorting of vision.
If you see a halo around light sources, this could be an indication of cataracts, which is one of the leading causes of blindness. If caught early, it can usually be treated quickly, so make sure you see your optometrist.
Change in depth perception
With age, depth perception can change, making it harder for you to distinguish items from each other. As a result, you may find yourself bumping into objects more often, or miscalculating hazards such as steps and curbs, and increase your risk of a fall.
Increased sensitivity to light and glare
Changes in light sensitivity due to aging is normal. It may be harder for you to see in low lighting and detect small changes in light or, your eyes may become more sensitive to glare.
If you’re finding your vision does not adapt to light changes and increasing sensitivity to glare, this could show an underlying vision problem or eye condition.
To search for Optometrists in your local area visit the Optometry Australia website. Visit the Vision Australia website for further information around eye health, eye conditions, and adaptive technology