As you age, you may begin to notice changes in your vision. These changes tend to happen gradually over the years and are common as you get older. Vision changes that happen suddenly may be signs of something more serious and should be evaluated by a medical professional right away.
Glaucoma is known as the silent disease because it slowly damages the eyes and can cause irreparable harm before any vision loss is noticed. Researchers today still do not know what causes glaucoma and, although there are ways to delay vision loss, there is no cure. Unfortunately, by the time anyone notices a change in vision, the glaucoma is in an advanced state. The recommendation is that you have your eyes checked once every two to four years when under 40 years of age; every three to five years from age 40 to 54; at least every two years after age 55; and every year after age 65 per The Glaucoma Research Foundation.
Unexpected blurred vision is often one of the earliest symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS). MS causes inflammation along the optic nerve that connects your eyes to the brain. That causes a condition called optic neuritis, which can lead to blurry sight, loss of color vision, and pain when you move your eyes. It often happens in just one eye. MS symptoms, the severity of the symptoms, and the frequency of symptoms vary widely from patient to patient. Just because a symptom like blurred vision goes away, doesn’t mean the underlying condition is gone.
Blurred vision that comes on suddenly is also a symptom of a stroke. Blood flow to the brain is blocked and this can lead to blurry vision or even sudden loss of sight. Strokes present with other more recognizable warning signs such as, loss of balance, confusion, and arm numbness to name a few, so blurred vision is often not the symptom you think of as pertaining to strokes. It is often rare for both eyes to be affected however, as most strokes occur on either one side of the brain or the other.
Diabetics are at risk of an eye degeneration called diabetic retinopathy. The low blood sugar experienced by diabetics can result in the blood vessels of the retina to be damaged causing blurry vision. If not properly diagnosed and treated, blindness can occur. Mild cases can be treated with attentive management of the diabetes, such as insulin and diet modifications. While more advanced cases may require eye surgery.
Importance of Eye Care
Our vision is one of the most important senses and yet one many take for granted. Even if you don’t experience vision problems, it is important to take care of your eyes and get regular check-ups as you age. If you do experience blurred vision, it is important to take it seriously and seek medical attention early.