Eye Issues

As the prevalence of vision issues rises nationwide, studies have found that this rate is even more alarmingly high among older adults. Specifically, ophthalmological surveys have found that 56% of people aged 65 and older are diagnosed with at least one ocular condition within a two-year period. While many people consider this an unavoidable part of aging, serious vision distortion and loss are not given parts of growing older. 

In reality, eye issues can be prepared for ahead of time so that their risk of development is much lower or their manifestations are more subtle. You just need to know what to expect and how you can be ready for it. If you or somebody you know are in your golden years, and you want to enjoy the rest of it with good vision, read on.


Not a disease to be taken lightly, glaucoma is an irreversible condition that is among the leading causes of blindness globally. Many factors contribute to the development of glaucoma, but among the most common is age. This is because seniors are more likely to have chronic conditions, like hypertension, which can worsen eye pressure and cause optic nerve damage. The Canadian government reports that more than 70% of older adults have at least one chronic illness. 

With modern medicine, though, glaucoma can be averted. Through regular eye exams, doctors can pinpoint abnormal eye pressure and alleviate this early. When done before the optic nerve is damaged, this procedure can preserve a patient’s vision. When paired with doctor-prescribed medications like prostaglandin, this further relieves interocular pressure, thereby halting the glaucoma from causing symptoms or worsening. 


Cataracts, or the clouding of the eye’s lens, prevent light from effectively passing into the retina, which is the part of the eye responsible for making sense of what you see. Seniors are vulnerable to cataracts since the proteins in the eye break down with age and clump to form the clouding. According to Statistique Canada, about 17% of older adults have this condition.

Thankfully, cataracts are slow-forming. As such, it’s very possible to prevent them. One simple way to do this is by regularly protecting your eyes with sunglasses. UV rays can cause oxidative stress in the eyes, which fast-tracks the breakdown of lens proteins. While regular shades will work fine so long as they can block up to 100% of UV rays, those who require vision correction can also turn to prescription sunglasses. This type of eyewear offers protection and correction and can even be tailored to cater to those who require multifocal lenses. Among select retailers, even well-known brands like Ray-Ban and Michael Kors can be made into prescription lenses. This ensures you can protect your eyes in style. 

Dry Eyes

Also called keratoconjunctivitis sicca, dry eyes can easily lead to significant problems. When the eyes are not moisturized, they tend to strain more, resulting in eye fatigue or blurring. Dry eyes can also lead to excessive rubbing, which can cause irritations and even corneal abrasions since there is no lubricant to cleanse and soothe. Older adults are prone to dry eyes since tear production tends to slow over time. 

To remedy this, it’s important to compensate with artificial tears such as Visine. Over-the-counter eye drops are usually the best option since they gently lubricate the eye. This is especially helpful during the winter when the average temperature can dip to -15 degrees Celsius in most parts of Canada. The cold exacerbates dry eyes, which can worsen among seniors whose tear ducts respond slower. Just be sure to choose a brand that your physician recommends. Some drops on the market may have additives you or your medical conditions may not work well with. Certain eye drops, like Pharmasave Advanced Relief Eye Drops, can also be responsible for side effects and have inadequate ingredient lists, so it’s safest to work off a healthcare worker’s expert advice. 

Diabetic Retinopathy 

As noted earlier, chronic disease becomes more widespread with age. Currently, more than 11 million Canadians are diabetic, with nearly 30% of Canadian seniors diagnosed with this condition. One of the ways this impacts a person is via their vision. This is called diabetic retinopathy, which concerns retinal blood vessel swelling.

The first line of defense against this eye issue is to regulate your blood sugar. This can be achieved through a balanced diet that keeps away from additional sugars and focusing on fiber-rich foods. While you may be better off limiting your pastries, you can benefit from including complex carbs like oats, which can help combat budding insulin resistance. Apart from this, diabetic retinopathy can be avoided by cutting out any vices. Habits like smoking can inhibit retinal blood flow. This can result in poor oxygenation and circulation, which can further any inflammation.