Age-related vision loss has multiple causes, the most prevalent of which are age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma. Dry AMD occurs as cellular debris accumulates in the eye’s retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells, resulting in drusen deposits which damage the eye’s photoreceptor cells. Dry AMD differs from wet AMD. In wet AMD, blood vessels start forming under the macula, resulting in them bursting and releasing blood and other fluids into the eye, damaging the macula.
The condition progresses gradually, and affects the central vision of the patient. Glaucoma on the other hand is caused by damage to the optic nerve due to high pressure inside the eye, or poor blood flow. It presents no symptoms until vision loss has already started occurring, which cannot be reversed from that point.
Less severe vision loss conditions include presbyopia, dry eyes, decreased vision in low light, decreased colour perception, and more floaters and flashes. With ageing, the probability of developing these conditions as well as cataracts, goes up. More specifically, the nuclear type of cataract is associated with ageing. Nuclear cataracts form deep in the central zone of the eye’s lens. The clumping of proteins normally present here causes cataract formation. This clouds the lens and can lead to vision loss.
The lack of predictability and irreversible nature of some of these conditions makes regular vision testing crucial to…