Vision & Aging: What You Need to Know

As we age, our vision usually changes. Both eye disease and vision loss become more common as people get older, particularly once a person reaches their 60s and beyond.

Certain changes are normal and aren’t a signal of any kind of underlying disease. Others could be signs of more serious health problems. However, in both cases, if you don’t get your eyes checked regularly, your quality of life could diminish quickly.

Common Vision Changes as We Age

One of the most common forms of vision changes people experience is presbyopia. The lens of the eye starts to struggle to change shape, making it harder to focus on objects that are close to you. Often, people first notice these shifts in their vision when they are reading, as they have to hold the text further away to be able to focus.

In many cases, presbyopia is easy to correct with reading glasses, regular prescription glasses or contact lenses. Some other options, like corrective surgeries, can also restore visual acuity.

Cataracts are also increasingly common as a person ages. The formation of cataracts makes it hard to see clearly, but they can typically be removed with a simple and highly effective surgery.

Major Age-Related Eye Diseases

Certain vision changes are signs of a more serious condition. Macular degeneration is a leading cause of blindness among older members of the population. As the macula deteriorates, central vision starts to fade. Over time, reading, driving, recognizing faces, using a computer and a variety of other tasks become more challenging. However, when caught early, treatment can limit the damage caused by macular degeneration and may even restore some visual acuity.

For every decade after you reach 40, your risk of developing glaucoma increases. As the optic nerve is damaged, vision loss occurs. Over time, blindness is a possibility. Without regular eye exams, spotting glaucoma before permanent damage is done is nearly impossible. However, when detected early, treatments can prevent or slow vision loss.

If you have diabetes, you are at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, a condition that can lead to blindness. High blood glucose levels damage the blood vessels in the retina, preventing proper blood flow. In some cases, new blood vessels develop in the wrong parts of the eye, causing vision loss. Once you have diabetic retinopathy, you need to work with a medical provider to ensure you get the proper treatments.

The best way to identify and manage age-related vision changes and eye conditions is to see your ophthalmologist or optometrist regularly. During an exam, they can look for signs of changes and discuss any vision-related concerns you may have, as well as develop treatment plans to preserve your vision. If you haven’t seen an eye doctor recently, schedule an appointment at your nearest ECVA clinic today. Our experienced ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians work diligently to maintain the health of the eyes of our patients and to correct vision issues in patients of all ages, ensuring their eyes remain healthy and they can see clearly.

Talk With One Of Our Eye Care Professionals Today!

If you have further questions or would like to schedule an appointment with one of the Ophthalmologists at Eye Care and Vision Associates please call 716.631-EYES (3937) or visit .

Shield Your Eyes: Why UV Sunglasses Are Important

Most people understand that exposure to ultraviolet light in the sun’s rays can lead to sunburns or cause skin cancer. However, not as many people realize that UV light can harm their eyes as well, potentially leading to some serious health problems.

By wearing sunglasses that offer UV protection, you can prevent at least some of these harmful rays from reaching your eyes. If you want to know more about why UV sunglasses are important, here’s what you need to know.

Eye Problems and UV Light

Exposure to UV rays from the sun has been linked to several eye-related issues. Cataracts, photokeratitis, macular degeneration, pterygia, and pinguecula have all been connected to UV exposure, either as a potential cause or as something that can accelerate the condition.

Additionally, uveal melanoma is the most common form of eye cancer and is strongly connected to exposure to UV rays. It isn’t unlike most melanomas that show up on the skin; it is just limited to the eye area.

Understanding UV Light

UV rays are part of the light spectrum, though these rays aren’t detectable by the naked eye. Also known as ultraviolet radiation, UV rays fall into three categories: UVA, UVB, and UVC.

UVC is potentially the most harmful form, but the atmosphere’s ozone layer blocks nearly all UVC rays. UVB does make it through the atmosphere to a degree, and the cornea can absorb 100 percent of these rays, potentially leading to photokeratitis, pinguecula, and pterygium.

UVA has the ability to pass through the cornea and reach the retina and lens. Overexposure has been linked to some forms of cataracts, and it may lead to the development of macular degeneration.

Why UV Sunglasses are Important

UV sunglasses are often the best form of protection against potentially harmful UV rays. The lenses can prevent the UV rays from making their way to your eyes, reducing your level of exposure dramatically when the sunglasses are worn.

If you want the best possible protection, look for sunglasses that block 100% of every type of UV ray. Additionally, opt for wraparound sunglasses, as they cover the eyes more completely.

Sunglass lenses don’t necessarily have to be dark to be effective against UV rays. Even lighter or less opaque lenses can perform well if they are treated with the right coatings.

Prescription and non-prescription sunglasses can be made with UV-blocking lenses. If you would like to learn more about UV sunglasses or want to have an eye exam to make sure your eyes are healthy, schedule an appointment at your nearest ECVA clinic today. Our experienced ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians work diligently to maintain the health of the eyes of our patients, including identifying eye problems that may be the result of overexposure to harmful UV light. Additionally, our optical shop can help you select lenses that will protect you from potentially damaging UV rays, ensuring your eyes are always protected.

Book An Appointment Today!

If you have further questions or would like to schedule an appointment with one of the Ophthalmologists at Eye Care and Vision Associates please call 716.631-EYES (3937) or visit .

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Maintaining the health of your eyes is essential. Otherwise, a medical condition could cause irreparable damage, causing you to lose visual acuity or your ability to see.

If you suffer from diabetes, you could be at risk for diabetic retinopathy, a harmful condition that can rob you of your vision. Here’s what you need to know about this damaging eye disease.

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy, in the simplest terms, is an eye disease that can occur in people who have diabetes and rob them of their vision. High blood sugar levels (blood glucose levels) can damage the blood vessels in the retina. Damaged blood vessels can lead to swelling and even leaking. In some cases, the blood vessels close, preventing blood from flowing properly in the eye. In both of those cases, your vision can be compromised, leading to diminished clarity or partial or full blindness.

At times, diabetic retinopathy can lead to the growth of new blood vessels on the retina. When this occurs, damage to your vision is possible, including falling acuity and even varying degrees of blindness.

Those in the initial stages of diabetic retinopathy may not know they have the condition. Often, the earliest symptoms can only be spotted during a thorough eye exam. However, noticeable symptoms do eventually occur, including blurriness, an increased number of floaters, vision changes, dark or black spots in the field of vision, declining night vision, and colors looking washed out or faded.

How is Diabetic Retinopathy Diagnosed?

First, your ophthalmologist will take a detailed medical history. As they proceed, they will ask you about any current medical conditions and whether you are experiencing any symptoms that could make you prone to diabetic retinopathy or indicate you may have the condition.

During an exam, the ophthalmologist uses drops to dilate your eyes, causing your pupils to widen. Then, they can examine your eye with a special lens, allowing them to look for signs of diabetic retinopathy.

In some cases, your ophthalmologist may perform a fluorescein angiography. A special dye is injected into a vein, typically in your arm. Then, once the dye reaches the blood vessels in your eye, images are captured with a special camera, letting your ophthalmologist to see any blockages, leaks, or abnormal blood vessel growth.

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is an alternative approach for closely examining the retina. A specialized machine scans the eye, providing highly detailed images that can help your ophthalmologist spot signs of diabetic retinopathy.

How is Diabetic Retinopathy Treated?

If your ophthalmologist diagnoses you with diabetic retinopathy, they may recommend certain treatments based on how the condition presents in your eyes. Typically, they will discuss blood sugar control options that can help slow the condition or even restore some of your vision.

They may also recommend an anti-VEGF medication, a prescription designed the limit swelling in the macula of the eye and potentially stop or reverse vision loss, or steroids, which also reduce inflammation. These medications are administered by a medical professional as it has to be given as an injection in the eye.

Laser surgery is another potential treatment. The lasers can seal leaking blood vessels and reduce swelling. They can also shrink intrusive blood vessels and potentially prevent them from recurring.

In more advanced cases, vitrectomy – a surgical procedure that removes blood from leaking vessels and vitreous gel toward the back of the eye – allows light to properly pass through the retina. This can help improve your vision and slow the progression of the condition.

If you are concerned about the health of your eyes or have not had a recent checkup, schedule an appointment at your nearest ECVA location today. Our skilled ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians work diligently to maintain the health of your eyes and to correct vision issues, ensuring your eyes remain in the best shape possible and you can see clearly.


If you have further questions or would like to schedule an appointment with one of the Ophthalmologists at Eye Care and Vision Associates please call 716.631-EYES (3937) or visit .