Q: How can I tell if my vision problems are age related? 

A: As we age, our eyes undergo various changes. Some age-related eye conditions are minor annoyances, while others can lead to severe vision impairments. Importantly, symptoms may not appear right away. This is why seniors should schedule a yearly comprehensive eye exam, as early detection is crucial for appropriate management. Dilation is especially important for seniors, so doctors can get a good look at the back of the eye, where many problems first develop.

Cataracts: Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy. Symptoms include blurry or dim vision, poor night vision, light sensitivity, “halos” around lights, and faded colors– eventually interfering with many daily activities.

Glaucoma: All types of glaucoma damage the optic nerve, associated with increased pressure in the eye. In people over 60, it’s the leading cause of blindness. Symptoms can include blind spots, tunnel vision, severe eye pain, blurred vision, light halos, even nausea or vomiting.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD): AMD affects the macula, the part of the retina responsible for sharp, central vision. Symptoms include distorted vision, difficulty recognizing faces, straight lines appearing wavy, dark/empty areas in central vision, and color perception changes. Progression may lead to severe vision loss.

Dry Eye Syndrome: Aging eyes may produce fewer tears or non-lubricating tears, leading to dryness, irritation, and discomfort. Dry eye symptoms include gritty irritation, redness, stinging, blurry vision and more. Damage to the ocular surface and scarring of the cornea can result.

Floaters and Flashes: Floaters are shapes that drift across the field of vision, while flashes are streaks of light. Occasional floaters and flashes are normal and common with age-related changes in the eye’s vitreous gel. But a sudden increase in their frequency/intensity could signal serious problems that require prompt medical attention.

Diabetic Retinopathy: People with diabetes are at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, which damages the blood vessels in the retina and can lead to irreversible vision loss. Symptoms include blurred vision, dark spots and impaired color vision.

Regular eye exams are essential for detecting age-related eye issues early. Adopting a healthy lifestyle, complete with a nutritious diet, wearing sunglasses to protect against UV rays, and avoiding smoking, can help maintain good eye health as we age.

Bring your questions to One Senior Place April 26th as Staci Walters, Doctor of Optometry and Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry talks about eye health and intervention. RSVP online at or call 321-751-6771.



One Senior Place is a marketplace for resources and provider of information, advice, care and on-site services for seniors and their families. Questions for this column are answered by professionals in nursing, social work, care management and in-home care. Send questions to, call 321-751-6771 or visit One Senior Place, The Experts in Aging. Lisa Conway is a Registered Nurse, Certified Dementia Practitioner and a Certified Care Manager for Senior Partner Care Services, Viera. Ms. Conway hosts a monthly seminar, ‘Senior Health Friday with Nurse Lisa.’