Skip to main content

Stay up to date on our COVID-19 pandemic protocols.

Home » Low Vision » Why Do Seniors Often Overestimate How Well They Can See?

Why Do Seniors Often Overestimate How Well They Can See?

woman drinking coffee 640

Many eye conditions and diseases often creep up slowly, with no discernible symptoms in their early stages. That's why many people with sight-threatening eye diseases are completely unaware of their condition until they reach irreversible vision loss. This is especially true of those 60 years and older, known to be at higher risk for developing these conditions.  

A Swedish study that included 1,200 seventy-year-olds, 6 out of 10 didn’t realize that their vision was subpar. Nor did they know that there were ways to maximize their remaining vision with certain glasses or a stronger lens prescription.  

The study concluded that many seniors tend to believe that their eye health is better than it actually is, largely because (as mentioned above) the symptoms of eye disease often go unnoticed until its more advanced stages.

 

Conditions That Slowly Impair Vision

Below are some common causes of vision impairment that don’t always show the warning signs early on. If you or a loved one has any of the following symptoms, contact The Low Vision Center at Family Optical to promptly schedule an eye exam. 

Cataracts

When the eye’s natural lens becomes cloudy, it's likely due to cataracts—a natural part of the aging process. The majority of cataract cases occur in people over the age of 50. Depending on the location and severity of the cataract, it can interfere with vision and may need to be surgically removed. 

Cataract symptoms include: 

  • Blurry or dim vision
  • Faded colors
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Frequent changes in lens prescription
  • Sensitivity to light

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

AMD is an eye disease that affects the macula (the central portion of the retina), causing central vision loss. A healthy macula enables us to read, watch TV, recognize faces and see fine details.  

Symptoms of AMD include: 

  • Blurred vision
  • Seeing straight lines as distorted or wavy
  • Difficulty reading
  • Oversensitivity to glare
  • Needing bright light to perform close work

Glaucoma 

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve. It typically affects both eyes and can lead to peripheral vision loss, known as ‘Tunnel Vision.’ Left untreated, glaucoma can eventually cause total blindness. 

The early stages of glaucoma do not have any obvious signs, which is why frequent eye exams are essential. Symptoms of middle-to-late stage glaucoma include: 

  • Blurred vision
  • Eye pain
  • Red eyes
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Reduced peripheral vision
  • Seeing rings around lights
  • Sensitivity to light

Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) 

DR is a complication of type 1 and 2 diabetes that damages the blood vessels in the retina. The longer a person has diabetes, the higher their risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. Controlling your blood sugar helps minimize eye damage. 

Symptoms of DR include: 

  • Deteriorating vision
  • Impaired color vision
  • Dark areas in your visual field
  • Blurred vision
  • Sudden increase in floaters

How Our Low Vision Optometrist Can Help

Here’s the bottom line: many eye diseases develop gradually, waving no red flags until the eye is irreversibly damaged. That’s why comprehensive annual eye exams are so crucial for those 60 years and up, even if they believe their eyes to be in perfect health.  

We at  The Low Vision Center at Family Optical use the latest diagnostic technology to ensure the most accurate examination and diagnosis. If any signs of eye disease are detected, please don't lose hope. We can help. 

The Low Vision Center at Family Optical offers a variety of low vision aids and devices that help maximize your vision, so that you can continue living your life to the fullest. 

Vision impairment shouldn't have to stop you from doing the things you love. To schedule your low vision consultation, call us today. 

The Low Vision Center at Family Optical serves patients from Winnipeg, Grande Pointe, Lorette, and Oak Bluff , all throughout Manitoba.

Q&A

Q: #1: What are low vision aids?

  • A: They are a combination of special lenses and devices that maximize any usable vision in order to help those with reduced vision read, watch TV, recognize faces, and carry out daily tasks. These include low vision glasses, like telescopes, microscopes, prisms, and filters.  Other visual help includes electronic visual aids and optical magnifiers.  Your low vision optometrist will work with you and prescribe the best devices for you.

Q: #2: What can cause low vision?

  • A: People with low vision have visual impairments that cannot be successfully corrected using traditional eye correction methods, like surgery, standard glasses and contact lenses. Low vision can be caused by an eye injury, eye diseases like macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, aging, certain accidents, among other factors.



Book Online
Call our St. Anne's Rd Location 204-818-3033

Call Our Two Locations!