Aging, injuries, and chronic conditions can weaken your vision. We’ve all heard older people when they talk about their vision going out the window, or noticed that our siblings and parents need glasses.
Weakening vision is a normal part of the aging process, but the causes of your weakening vision may not be natural. In any case, even with natural age progression, certain conditions cause your eyesight to decline more quickly.
If your vision is getting weaker, even if you are a person of advanced age, there could be treatable reasons that you’re not able to see as clearly as you once were.
Stephen Khachikian, MD, is an ophthalmologist with specialties in corneas, cataracts, and refractive issues affecting your eyes. At Black Hills Regional Eye Institute, Dr. Khachikian leads our talented and compassionate team in providing high-quality care to the people of Rapid City, South Dakota.
If your vision is getting weaker, there could be a number of reasons, with some of the most common listed below.
4 common causes of vision problems
Taking care of your vision is easier than watching it slowly slip away. To protect your vision, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends:
- Regular vision checkups
- Knowing your family’s eye health history
- Eating dark greens and omega-rich foods
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Using protective eyewear for sports and time spent in the sun
- Quitting smoking
- Using protective eyewear in hazardous occupations
None of these precautions guarantee that you’ll never experience vision loss, but proactively caring for your vision reduces the likelihood of a serious condition later.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) consists of two types: dry AMD and wet AMD. Your macula is part of your retina, and AMD refers to the loss of your central field of vision.
You may see spots that you can’t rub or blink away, but you can still see out of your periphery. AMD is a very common condition and is the main cause of vision loss for men and women aged 50 and over.
Wet AMD is the most dangerous of the two types. While dry AMD accounts for over 80% of people living with the condition, wet AMD endangers and damages your vision by ruining the blood vessels in your retina.
Believe it or not, the shape of your eyes can have an impact on your vision. Astigmatism affects the shape of your eye, causing blurry vision.
Hyperopia, commonly called near-sightededness, allows you to clearly see objects close to you, but the farther away the objects are, the blurrier they are.
The opposite condition, myopia, causes close objects to become blurry, and far-off objects are clearer and easier to see.
Diabetes is an autoimmune disease that affects the pancreas, causing unhealthy high and low blood sugar levels. Diabetes affects nearly every bodily system, including vision. That’s why you should have regular eye health checkups if you’re living with this chronic condition.
If you have diabetes, you’re at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. This happens when poorly managed blood sugar damages the blood vessels in your retina, causing poor vision. Left untreated with unmanaged diabetes, diabetic retinopathy causes blindness.
Cataract surgery has origins as early as the fifth century. Since then, the process for treating cataracts has become sophisticated and today includes a variety of cutting-edge options.
Cataracts create foggy lenses in your eyes, which eventually interfere with your ability to see clearly. Cataracts are a visible issue in the eyes, and the reasons for their removal are both cosmetic and health-related.
Let us treat your vision problems
Dr. Khachikian is an experienced and compassionate professional with years of experience treating vision problems. Your genetics, environment, and overall health have an impact on the health of your eyes, so you work closely with your primary care doctor and make regular visits to a trusted ophthalmologist.
At Black Hills Regional Eye Institute, we’re ready to help you maintain your vision and your quality of life. Call us at 605-203-4268, or book an appointment online with us today.