Why Are My Eyes So Watery?

At times, water eyes are simply an occasional annoyance. However, since excessive tearing (epiphora) can have various causes, watery eyes may also be a symptom of a medical condition.  

By understanding the various causes of watery eyes, you can find relief and determine if you need to see an eye doctor. Here is a look at why your eyes might be particularly watery.  

You Just Woke Up  

When you wake up in the morning, opening your eyes exposes your pupils to a sudden bout of bright light. That simple act can lead to tearing, with the watery eyes usually subsiding in a few minutes.  

Dry Eyes  

Dry eyes can lead to bouts of excessive tearing. Whether you have chronic dry eye or your eyes dry out due to an activity – like being overly focused on a computer screen – or environmental change – such as going outside on a cold, windy day – more tears are your body’s solution. When your body tries to relubricate your eyes, it can produce more tears than are usually necessary, leading to a short period of wateriness.  

Contact Lenses  

Contact lenses can disrupt eye lubrication and act as a mild eye irritant, both of which can lead to tearing. If the tearing is occasional, it may be no more than an annoyance. If it’s disruptive, you may want to see your eye doctor to determine if your contacts are the wrong material for you, improperly fit, or if you’re simply wearing them too long each day.  

Blocked Punctum  

In some cases, the issue isn’t the amount of tears you produce but your eye’s inability to drain the tears properly. If you have a blocked punctum, the tears can’t leave the eye properly, causing your eyes to be watery.  

Often, blockages caused by minor infections or colds clear on their own in time. However, if the situation isn’t resolving, your eye doctor can examine the issue and remove the blockage.  

Conjunctivitis  

Along with blocking the punctum, an infection can lead to watery eyes. Usually, you’ll have other symptoms as well, such as redness, discomfort, or fever.  

Treating the underlying infection is usually the best way to relieve any symptoms. You’ll want to see your eye doctor to determine which course of treatment is best for your condition.  

Debris  

Small pieces of debris can typically lead to eye tearing. This goes for debris that’s small enough not to be outwardly noticeable, as well as bigger pieces. For example, even a tiny bit of eyeliner or eyeshadow may cause tearing, even if you don’t feel any in your eye.  

Allergies  

When you’re exposed to an allergen, your body release histamine, which can cause an allergic reaction, that allergic reaction may include excessive tearing, causing your eyes to become watery.  

Usually, allergy-related tearing is a straightforward situation. With the right allergy treatment, the issue usually resolves.  

Cornea Issues  

A scratch, sore, or ulcer on your cornea can lead to inflammation, as well as excessive tearing. Usually, the condition is painful and results in light sensitivity. If you experience any of those symptoms, it’s best to see your eye doctor.  

Other Causes  

While the issues above are some of the most common ones, other conditions can lead to watery eyes. Chemical exposure, harmful fumes, eye injuries, facial surgery, nerve conditions, and certain medications are just some of the possibilities.  

At ECVA, we take the safety and health of our patients’ eyes seriously. If you are concerned about watery eyes or excessive tearing, we are here to help. Schedule an appointment at your closest ECVA clinic today.  

What Causes Eye Color to Change?

Changes in eye color can be as captivating as they are concerning. By understanding what can cause eye colors to change, you can determine if what you’re experiencing is typical or if you should see a doctor.  

Here is a look at common causes of eye color changes.  

Natural Age-Related Eye Color Changes  

One of the most common situations that leads to changes in eye color occurs in children. When a baby is born, their eyes are usually lighter or bluer. Mainly, this is because a newborn hasn’t had sun exposure, so the melanin in their eyes isn’t fully developed. As they are exposed to light, melanin production increases, causing the color of their eyes to shift.  

However, eye color changes can also occur as a person ages. Those with lighter color eyes – especially Caucasians – may see their eyes lighten over time. The pigment slow degrades over time, resulting in less color.  

Other Situations Leading to Eye Color Changes  

Sun Exposure  

Since melanin plays a role in eye color, exposure to the sun can lead to eye color changes. Usually, it requires prolonged exposure and results in the irises darkening.  

Medical Treatments  

Some medications may alter eye color. One prime example was a name-brand eyelash growth serum that was available by prescription. While the side effect was rare and usually required the drops to be applied to the eye – not the lash line, as it was meant to be used – a chemical in the serum could have the ability to impact eye pigments.  

It’s also possible for other medications and surgeries to result in eye color changes. If that’s a potential side effect of a treatment, your doctor will discuss it in advance.  

Nearby Colors  

In some cases, it may look like your eye color has changed when, in reality, your eyes are the same color. Changes to the size of your pupils can cause your eye color to appear slightly different. Partially, this is because your limbal ring (the darker ring on the outside of the iris) is closer to the pupil’s edge. This can make your eye color appear darker because less of the iris is visible.  

Additionally, other colors near your eyes may impact how your eye color is perceived. For example, your clothing, makeup, hair, and glasses frame color may all influence the apparent hue of your irises. However, most of that is an illusion.  

When a different color is near your eye, slight reflections of those shades might make your eye color seem different, even though it isn’t. In a similar vein, changing the colors that are near your eyes may create more or less contrast than is usually there, making the hue seem stronger or weaker due to an adjustment in the comparison.  

Similarly, crying, allergies, or other activities that cause the sclera – the white part of the eye – to redden may make the irises seem slightly different. Again, this is because the area near the iris changed hues, not because the iris itself is a new color.  

Medical Conditions  

There are medical conditions that can lead to shifts in eye color. Heterochromia – a condition that causes a person to have two different colored irises or more than one color in a single iris – may result in color changes. Horner’s syndrome may cause the eyes to lighten. Pigmentary glaucoma and Fuch’s heterochromic uveitis – an inflammatory condition – may also result in changes to the iris. The same goes for eye melanoma, a type of cancer.  

At ECVA, we take the safety and health of our patients’ eyes seriously. If you have concerns about your eye health or simply haven’t had an eye exam in a while, we can help. Schedule an appointment at your closest ECVA clinic today.  

Spider Webs in Your Vision – What It Means, Why It Happens, and How Serious Is It?

Seeing spider webs across your vision can be concerning or at least momentarily distracting. However, some of the worry is often based on not knowing what’s causing the spider webs and whether they are indicative of a serious condition.  

If you wonder what the spider webs in your vision mean, why they occur, and whether the situation requires treatment, here’s what you need to know.  

What Are Spider Webs in Your Vision?  

Spider webs in your vision are a visual phenomenon. At times, they are also described as cobwebs or floaters, the latter of which refers to the shifting nature of the specks or lines.  

In some cases, the spider webs seem nearly transparent. In others, they may look closer to hazing black dots.  

Most people notice spider webs in their vision when they are looking at a bright white surface, such as a wall. They may also be noticeable if you’re gazing at a light blue sky, especially if the sun is shining.  

Why Do Spider Webs in Your Vision Occur?  

Usually, spider webs in your vision are the result of posterior vitreous detachment. The bulk of the eye is made up of the vitreous body, which is comprised of a jelly-like substance. If the vitreous body pulls away from the retina, the jelly may form strands or shapes. As those strands shift, they cast shadows on the retina, creating a visual phenomenon that looks like spider webs, cobwebs, or floaters.  

Changes to the vitreous body are common as people age. Over time, the jelly-like substance can shrink, making a posterior vitreous detachment more likely.  

Additionally, proteins in the gel can clump together. These can create the cobweb effect, as well as spots, rings, or other shapes.  

Typically, floaters develop between the ages of 50 and 75. However, they can occur in younger people, particularly those with significant myopia (nearsightedness), past eye trauma, or diabetes. Additionally, those who have undergone a cataract operation are at a higher risk of developing them early.  

How Serious are Spider Webs in Your Vision?  

Generally speaking, spider webs in your vision aren’t serious. They mainly don’t negatively impact vision and are more of an occasional annoyance. In time, you may even learn to ignore them even if they don’t disappear entirely.  

As a result, treatment is rarely recommended for common floaters if they aren’t impacting vision significantly. For those who are having a negative impact on vision, a surgical procedure may be recommended to remove the floaters from the vitreous body. There are risks of undergoing the procedure, so it isn’t usually recommended unless the situation is severe.  

However, if the number of floaters increases suddenly or they are accompanied by a bright flash of light, that could be the onset of a severe condition. Similarly, if the floaters occur along with a sudden vision change that’s similar to a veil or curtain descending over your visual field, that could also be a sign of a more serious condition, such as a retinal detachment. If that is the case, prompt medical treatment could be essential to ensure no vision is lost.  

At ECVA, we take the safety and health of our patients’ eyes seriously. If you are concerned about the presence of spider webs in your vision or are experiencing other systems like bright flashed of light or quick chances to your visual field, we are here to help. Schedule an appointment at your closest ECVA clinic today.   

Family looking at eyeglasses

Congenial (Pediatric) Cataracts – What It Is and How It’s Treated

When people think of cataracts, they typically associate the condition with older adults. However, cataracts can happen much earlier in life, and they may even be present at birth.  

If you would like to learn more about congenital cataracts – including what they are, when they can occur, and how they are treated – here’s what you need to know.  

What Are Congenital Cataracts?  

Cataracts are a condition that leads to a cloudiness of the lens of the eye. They occur when specific proteins found within the eye start clumping. As the proteins bind together, they negatively impact vision, such as blurriness or fogginess. In some cases, the distortions are quite severe.  

The size and location of the cataracts can vary. Additionally, they may be present in one eye or both. In cases where both are affected, one may be in worse shape than the other, or the situation could be comparable in both eyes.  

Typically, the proteins clump slowly over time, which is why cataracts are more prevalent in older adults. However, with congenital cataracts, they are present at birth.  

In many cases, the reason the cataracts developed in the infant are not known. However, infections, metabolic conditions, trauma, inflammation, and medication reactions can potentially cause cataracts.  

Are Congenial and Pediatric Cataracts the Same?  

At times, the terms congenial and pediatric are used interchangeably. However, there are actually different versions of pediatric cataracts.  

With congenital cataracts, the condition is present at birth. With acquired pediatric cataracts, they develop after birth. Pediatric cataract patients may be infants, children, or adolescents.  

In some cases, the cause of pediatric cataracts may be known. For example, a previous eye injury may increase the child’s odds of developing cataracts and being diabetic or having certain other metabolic disorders. However, they can also occur without an apparent reason.  

What Are the Risks of Pediatric Cataracts?  

When cataracts occur in very young children, they don’t just impact vision acuity today; they may have a lasting impact on vision, eye health, and brain development. In adults, cataracts occur after the eyes and brain are fully developed, reducing the likelihood of long-term impact.  

Infants and children are different. The eyes and brain usually develop well into childhood, often up to the age of 10. When left untreated, congenital cataracts harm that development, potentially leading to lasting negative effects on vision. This could permanent declines in visual acuity, as well as possible blindness.  

How Are Congenital and Pediatric Cataracts Treated?  

With both congenital and pediatric cataracts, the treatment options vary depending on the severity of the condition. If the case is mild and isn’t impact vision, it may be possible to simply monitor the situation, only intervening if the cataracts worsen.  

However, if there is a negative impact on vision, surgery may be a necessity. The procedure removes the cataracts, alleviating the cause of the visual distortions and allowing the proper brain and eye development to occur.  

Ongoing treatment after surgery is also typical. Steps have to be taken to restore the eye-brain connection, ensuring they’ll be able to focus clearly.   

At ECVA, we take the health of our patients’ eyes seriously. If you believe your child may have congenital or pediatric cataracts, we are here to help. Schedule an appointment at your closest ECVA clinic today.  

August Is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month

August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month. It’s a time where we focus on eye-related concerns that impact children and highlight the importance of eye exams for kids of all ages.  

During Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month, our goal is to spread awareness about vision issues in children. Without clear vision, children often struggle to learn and play, both safely and effectively. Not only can this increase the odds of injuries, but it can also lead to social and educational issues. By making eye care a priority, many of the problems can be corrected if not fully avoided.  

If you would like to learn more about eye health and safety for children, including why regular appointments with their eye doctor are essential and warning signs of potential issues, here’s what you need to know.  

The Importance of Children’s Eye Health and Safety  

Overall, as many as one-in-20 preschool-age children have a visual impairment. This can include a variety of conditions, ranging from strabismus to refractive errors to amblyopia. Additionally, one in four school-age children has undetected vision issues. Considering that 80 percent of learning is visual, a notable number of children are struggling in the classroom due to eye issues.  

Regretfully, more than 50 percent of parents do not bring their children in for eye exams. Unfortunately, that means many kids are who have a vision or eye-health-related problems don’t receive a diagnosis until the issue has been in place for some time.  

While many parents may assume that they would notice vision problems in their children, that isn’t always the case. That’s why exams are so vital, as they ensure your child’s eyes are healthy and that they can see clearly, allowing them to learn (and play) with ease.  

Warning Signs of Vision Issues in Children  

While some warning signs of vision issues in children are hard to spot, others may be noticeable to parents. Some of the most common ones include:  

  • Eye rubbing  
  • Closing one eye to read or watch television  
  • Excessive tearing  
  • Light sensitivity  
  • Wandering eyes  

As we’ve discussed previously, there are also many hidden signs of vision problems in children that aren’t as easy to spot. By learning about those, you can further watch out for the health and safety of your child’s eyes and vision, ensuring they receive care when they need it most.  

How to Celebrate Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month  

If your child hasn’t had an eye exam recently, now is a perfect time. Celebrate Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month by scheduling an appointment to get their vision checked, ensuring they can see clearly and that their eyes are healthy.  

At ECVA, we take the safety and health of our patients’ eyes seriously, regardless of their age. If your child has symptoms of vision issues or simply hasn’t had an exam recently, our team is here for you. So take a moment and schedule an appointment at your closest ECVA clinic today.  

Common Eye Problems in Summer

During the summer months, most people focus on enjoying the warmer weather, planning vacations, and other fun events, not the eye problems they may encounter during the season. In reality, summer can have an impact on your eyes, and certain issues can be surprisingly common.  

If you want to find out more about eye problems many people face in the summer and what to do about them, here’s what you need to know.  

Corneal Burns  

When people think of sunburns, they usually focus on the skin. However, harmful UV rays can also lead to corneal burns, a condition with symptoms like blurry vision, dryness, and a gritty feeling in the eye.  

In most cases, the easiest way to protect yourself against corneal burns is to wear sunglasses. Just make sure to pick a pair that offers full-spectrum UV protection.  

Dry Eye  

During the summer, higher temperatures, fans, and air conditioning can all increase the occurrence of dry eye. In addition, if you live in a more arid climate, the lack of humidity can also be a compounding factor, increasing your chances of experiencing dry eye.  

In most cases, dry eye is noticeably uncomfortable. You may experience a gritty or stinging sensation, as well as experience redness, sensitivity to light, and more.  

If you’re experiencing dry eye, make an effort to stay hydrated and consider using lubricating drops. Drinking more water can make a difference, while the drops provide quick relief.  

Tired Eyes  

If your summer is especially busy, you may experience more eye tiredness than usual. For many people, enjoying the season can mean missing out on critical sleep, something that can leave your eyes irritated and fatigued.  

For tired eyes, your best bet is to give your eyes a break by getting enough sleep. Also, avoid using digital devices, as those can make the situation worse, not better.  

Allergies  

While many people assume that eye allergies are only a major issue in the spring, they are still prevalent in the summer. Certain plant pollens, seeds, and mold types are more common later into the warmer months.  

Eye allergies can be incredibly uncomfortable. Some symptoms may include itching, burning, and dryness.  

If you have eye allergies, try to reduce your exposure. Wear sunglasses, wash your face as soon as you come indoors, and even change clothing. Also, many over-the-counter and prescription allergy treatments can provide relief, so they can be worth exploring.  

Infection  

Eye infections can happen at any time of the year. Plus, you may participate in activities that can increase your risk, such as swimming in a public pool that isn’t properly treated or a nearby lake that may host to a range of bacteria.  

If you want to reduce your odds of infection, wear goggles while swimming. Additionally, rinse off after swimming, ensuring contaminants don’t remain on your skin.  

At ECVA, we take the safety and health of our patients’ eyes seriously. If you have a summer eye health concern or haven’t had an eye exam recently, we are here to help. Schedule an appointment at your closest ECVA clinic today.  

Pediatric Ptosis

child receiving an eye exam

Many parents aren’t familiar with all of the conditions that can impact their child’s eyes or vision. Pediatric ptosis, while common, isn’t necessarily widely known. If you are wondering what pediatric ptosis is, what the signs of pediatric ptosis are, and how the condition is treated, here’s what you need to know.  

What Is Pediatric Ptosis?  

Ptosis is an eye condition where the upper lid droops down or doesn’t open completely, causing it to obstruct the eye and physically block the visual field. Pediatric ptosis focuses on the condition when it impacts a child, including infants, toddlers, and younger kids.  

Pediatric ptosis can be caused by weaker eyelid muscles as well as excess eyelid skin. In some cases, it’s congenital, meaning it is present at birth. In others, it develops over time. Both trauma and neurological issues can be a cause and certain habits, like excessive eye rubbing.  

With pediatric ptosis, quick treatment is usually a necessity. Otherwise, the obstruction to the visual field can negatively impact eye development, leading to additional vision issues over time.  

Additionally, identifying the root cause of the condition is a must. That way, if the ptosis is a symptom of another medical issue, the underlying condition can be determined and appropriately addressed.  

Signs of Pediatric Ptosis  

In some cases, pediatric ptosis is outwardly noticeable. It will be apparent when looking at the child, as the eyelid either doesn’t move properly or remains low even when open.  

Some presentations can be more subtle. However, other symptoms indicate potential ptosis, including:  

  • Head tilting when trying to view an object  
  • Headaches or eye fatigue  
  • Running into items that are hanging from above  
  • Delayed walking or crawling  
  • Distorted, blurred, or double vision  
  • Eye misalignment  
  • Dizziness or balance issues  
  • Diminished vision acuity  

Many of these symptoms are potentially associated with ptosis and other conditions, as well. As a result, it’s best to see your eye doctor if any of them develop, even if eyelid drooping doesn’t seem to be present.  

Pediatric Ptosis Treatment  

If your child has ptosis, there may be a few treatment options. Which approach is best usually depends on the underlying cause along with the severity of the symptoms.  

For minor cases, nonsurgical treatment may be sufficient. This can include using eye drops or patching to strengthen the weaker eye, specialty eyeglasses, or a ptosis crutch, a device that supports the eyelid. If weaker muscles are the core issue, eye exercises may also be part of the treatment plan.  

In some cases, surgical intervention is a necessity. Precisely which procedure is required may vary. If an issue with the underlying muscle structure is involved, surgically tightening them may be the best approach. If excess skin is responsible, blepharoplasty may be the right option.  

Ultimately, your eye doctor can determine which treatment course is ideal. They’ll assess your child’s ptosis, identify the cause, and gauge the severity. Then, they can make an appropriate plan, ensuring the pediatric ptosis is addressed correctly.  

At ECVA, our staff works diligently to care for the eye health of patients of all ages, ensuring they can see clearly today, tomorrow, and well into the future. If you have a child with signs of pediatric ptosis or if you or your children simply haven’t had eye exams recently, schedule an appointment at your closest ECVA clinic today.  

Summer Eye Care Tips

While taking care of your eyes is a year-round job, certain situations that could cause them harm are more common in the summer. If you want to keep your eyes safe during the warmer part of the year, here are some summer eye care tips that can help.  

Protect Your Eyes from UV Light  

Ultraviolet (UV) light can be incredibly damaging to the eyes. Not only can corneas sunburn, but your eyes can also be susceptible to melanoma – a type of cancer – and a range of other UV-related eye conditions. By focusing on prevention – including using sunglasses, visors, and different kinds of UV protection we’ve covered previously – you reduce your risk.  

Shield Your Eye During Home Improvement  

During the warmer months, many people decide to tackle a range of home improvement projects. This can include making repairs, updating landscaping, handling some painting, and much more.  

Many home improvement projects do present risks to your eyes. Sawdust, paint, debris, and fumes can all potentially be harmful. In serious cases, something hitting or getting into your eye may even cause permanent vision changes, including blindness.  

When you participate in home improvement projects, wear protective eyewear. By doing so, you’re shielding your eyes from harm.  

Use Eye Protection When Playing Sports  

Similar to home improvement projects, many sports have items soaring through the air that could hit your eyes. Eye injuries from golf balls, tennis balls, baseballs, and other similarly sized balls are actually fairly common. The same goes for badminton shuttlecocks and street hockey pucks. Without eye protection, these can all cause serious injury.   

While your risk of an eye injury may be minimal with a basketball, soccer ball, or other balls of a larger size, they could also present a risk if you’re getting close to other players. A person moving their hands while trying to get a ball may not notice where you are, causing them to strike your face or poke you in the eye by mistake. As a result, it is wise to wear eye protection here as well.  

Keeping Your Eyes Safe from Chemicals  

If you own a pool, the chemicals you need to use to keep the water sanitary can be dangerous if they get into your eyes. This is true both when you’re using them to balance the pool, as well as if the concentrations are too high in the water while swimming.  

When you are balancing pool chemicals, using full-seal goggles is smart, as well as gloves. When you’re swimming, if you notice your eyes stinging, get out of the water, as that’s a sign the chemical concentrations aren’t correct.  

Additionally, wearing swim goggles while in the water is a smart move even if the chemicals are balanced. That way, you can see clearly while avoiding exposure to potential irritants.  

At ECVA, we take the safety and health of our patients’ eyes seriously. Whether it’s an injury, chemical exposure, or any other summer concern, we are here to help. Even if you simply haven’t had an eye exam recently, our team is here for you. If you have any eye concerns, schedule an appointment at your closest ECVA clinic today.  

Diabetic Retinopathy: What It Is and Why an Annual Screening Is Essential

an older gentleman looking up at the sky

Diabetes can be incredibly difficult on the body. While most people understand its impact on blood sugar management, diabetes can also lead to a range of other conditions, including diabetic retinopathy.  

If left undiagnosed or untreated, diabetic retinopathy can rob you of your vision, potentially permanently. If you are wondering what diabetic retinopathy is, what the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy are, and why annual screening is so critical, here’s what you need to know.  

What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?  

Diabetic retinopathy is an eye condition where the blood vessels in the retina of your eye get weaker. Weaker vessels can leak, allowing fluid, blood, or lipids to build up in the retina. As this occurs, it can cause ischemia, meaning the eye isn’t getting proper blood flow.  

As the condition worsens, ischemia leads to the growth of abnormal blood vessels, often an attempt by the body to restore blood flow. However, the blood vessels can cause fluid leakage into the vitreous of the eye, resulting in changes that can lead to a tractional retinal detachment, a condition that can cause significant – and potentially permanent – vision loss  

Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy  

During the early stages of the condition, many people have little or no symptoms. However, as diabetic retinopathy worsens, people may have:  

  • Blurry Vision  
  • Distorted Vision 
  • Declining Color Acuity  
  • Decreasing Night Vision  
  • Increasing Floaters  
  • Trouble Reading  
  • Difficulty Seeing Objects at a Distance  

At times, the symptoms are lasting. However, they may also come and go, something that may cause them to go unnoticed or be disregarded as not serious, even though they indicate a genuine problem.  

If diabetic retinopathy leads to a retinal detachment, other symptoms can develop, including:  

  • Flashes of Light  
  • Sudden Appearance of a Large Number of Floaters  
  • Reduced Peripheral Vision  
  • Darkness or Curtain-Like Shadow Over Visual Field  
  • Blurred Vision  

Retinal detachments can cause dramatic vision loss. Without quick action, the loss can be permanent. As a result, if you experience any of the symptoms above, it’s considered an emergency, and you should seek medical attention immediately.  

Why You Need an Annual Screening for Diabetic Retinopathy  

If you have diabetes, you are at risk of diabetic retinopathy. While you may not experience symptoms of diabetic retinopathy initially, an eye doctor can see signs of the condition during an exam.  

That’s why getting an annual screening is so vital. It allows your eye doctor to identify the condition at the earliest possible stage, decreasing the odds that you’ll experience vision loss or a retinal detachment.  

Diabetic retinopathy is treatable, particularly if caught early. Any abnormal blood vessel growth can be addressed, and steps can be taken to slow the progression of the disease, all of which help you preserve your vision longer.  

At ECVA, our staff works diligently to care for the eye health of patients of all ages, including screening for harmful conditions like diabetic retinopathy. If you are experiencing any vision changes or are a diabetic and haven’t had a diabetic retinopathy screening within the last year, schedule an appointment at your closest ECVA clinic today.  

What to Expect as Our Eyes Age

smiling older woman

Most people understand that aging impacts the human body. However, many people are caught off guard when it comes to how aging effects our eyes. 

Age-related eye changes are fairly common, though each one has a different kind of impact. Some may produce mild discomfort or easily correctable vision changes, while others may have a lasting effect on visual acuity. At times, age-related eye changes can be serious, causing permanent loss of vision and more. 

If you are wondering about age-related eye problems, here is a quick overview of some of the most common ones. 

Common Age-Related Eye Changes 

Presbyopia 

Presbyopia is an eye condition where you lose visual acuity when viewing an object up close or reading small print. Those who suffer from it may start holding things they need to read further away from their face to try and compensate, may have trouble reading, or might experience headaches when doing up-close work. 

In most cases, reading glasses or bifocals are enough to correct the issue. However, you may need to update the strength of your lenses regularly to compensate for ongoing changes. 

Dry Eye 

As we age, our tear ducts may struggle to produce enough tears to keep our eyes comfortable. Usually, the most common side effects are discomfort and a reduction in visual clarity. 

Luckily, this is an issue that can often be addressed with eye drops or a humidifier. However, severe cases may require surgery to correct. 

Tearing 

At times, excessive tearing also occurs when people age. Often, it’s the of a shift in light, wind, or temperature change sensitivity, though it could also be caused by a tear duct issue or eye infection. Some people with dry eye might also experience periods of excessive tearing. Usually, it’s an attempt to rehydrate the eye that goes a bit overboard. 

In many cases, the core causes can be addressed by your eye doctor, alleviating the tearing issue. 

Floaters 

Floaters are tiny spots that seem to drift across your visual field. In many cases, they are normal and of no concern. However, if accompanied by flashes of light or if they increase dramatically, it could indicate a more significant problem. 

Cataracts 

Cataracts form when various proteins found in the eye begin to clump, leading to cloudiness in the lens of a person’s eye. As the cloudiness worsens, a person’s vision becomes blurry or makes it seem like everything is covered in a fog. Usually, they form slowly over time, making them more common in older individuals. Thankfully, cataract surgery is often quite effective, potentially fully restoring any lost visual acuity caused by cataracts. 

Macular Degeneration 

Age-related macular degeneration leads to the loss of central vision, though not total blindness. Often, people with it struggle to read or recognize faces. As with many conditions, early detection and treatment are crucial for preserving vision. If a case is advanced, there is no cure, though its progress may be slowed with certain kinds of treatment. 

Glaucoma 

Glaucoma is a condition that occurs when the pressure in the eye increases, something that is more likely to emerge as a person ages. If not treated, it can lead to permanent vision loss and even blindness 

What to Do If You Experience Visions Changes 

While many of the age-related changes above are common, that doesn’t mean they should go unaddressed. In many cases, proper treatment can restore or improve visual acuity, allowing you to see better as you age. 

Additionally, some of the symptoms above could be indicative of other eye issues, including some that may lead to irreversible eye damage. As a result, it is always wise to see your eye doctor if you experience any changes to your vision. That way, they can identify the cause of your issue and plan an appropriate course of treatment, should one be necessary. 

At ECVA, our staff works diligently to care for the eye health of patients of all ages, ensuring they can see as clearly as possible today and into the future. If you are experiencing any vision changes or simply haven’t had an eye exam recently, schedule an appointment at your closest ECVA clinic today.