Vision Articles

Macular degeneration

Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss among people age 50 and older. It is also called age-related macular degeneration. Macular degeneration damages the macula, which provides sharp, central vision. The macula is the most sensitive part of the retina. It is located at the back of the eye. The retina turns light into electrical signals and then sends them through the optic nerve to the brain, where they are translated into the images we see.  When the macula is damaged, the center of vision may appear blurry, distorted, or dark. Damage caused by macular degeneration can interfere with: More »

How you can drive safely at night

Age-related changes in vision aren’t great enough to keep older people from driving at night. Having regular eye exams and taking measures to reduce glare are important. It’s also important to stay off the road at sunrise and sunset. (Locked) More »

Protect your vision to protect your independence

If not corrected, vision problems can lead to many complications, such as trouble reading medication labels, difficulty driving, and an increased risk of falls. It's crucial to have comprehensive eye exams to catch common eye conditions. (Locked) More »

Ask the doctor: What are floaters?

Floaters are spots or lines that drift across vision. They are not usually that worrisome, but sometimes precede detachment of the light-sensing retina from the back of the eye. (Locked) More »

Dry eye syndrome

Almost everyone's eyes become irritated from time to time. For individuals with dry eye syndrome, this irritation is part of every day life. Dry eye syndrome is caused by a decline in the production of tears. This causes irritation, burning, or a scratchy feeling in the eye. Sometimes mucus accumulates, causing a sticky sensation. When the problem is severe, it can feel like sand is in the eyes. People with dry eye syndrome may become sensitive to light, have trouble wearing contact lenses, or even find it difficult to cry. Dry eye syndrome affects more than eight million people in the United States. It is more common in women and usually starts in middle age. People with allergies are more susceptible to dry eye syndrome. The condition may accompany autoimmune diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. A shortage of tears is also one of the symptoms of Sjögren's syndrome, a disorder of the immune system that causes dryness of the mouth, eyes, and mucous membranes. More »

Cataract: Symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

The eye's lens is a clear structure that focuses images on the light-sensitive retina. A cataract is a clouding of the lens. This distorts or blocks the passage of light through the lens, causing cloudy or blurred vision, other visual problems, and even blindness. The name cataract comes from the term for "huge waterfall," which is how some people describe their clouded sight: like trying to look through a waterfall. It usually takes years for the clouding of the lens to keep light from reaching the retina or distorting light rays. Cataracts are usually an age-related condition. They first appear in the 40s or 50s, but may not affect vision until much later. Some cataracts are caused by an injury to the eye, long-term diabetes, the use of corticosteroid medications, or radiation treatment. More »


Glaucoma is a vision-robbing eye disease caused by damage to the optic nerve. This nerve carries information about vision from the eye to the brain. Glaucoma is a lifelong illness, but proper treatment can prevent loss of vision. Glaucoma often stems from an increase in the pressure of fluid inside the front part of the eye. Sometimes, though, glaucoma-related eye damage occurs even when the pressure is normal. Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the United States. It currently affects more than 2.5 million Americans. Up to half of people with glaucoma don't know that they have the condition. Glaucoma tends to run in families. It is five times more common in African-Americans than in Caucasians. The risk of glaucoma also increases with age in people of all ethnic backgrounds. More »

How our senses change with age

Although there is great variability from person to person in how the senses diminish with age, here are some changes that are common: Visual acuity, or sharpness of focus, tends to get worse with age. Cataracts, which can make vision fuzzy, are relatively common and usually occur later in life. Another age-related vision problem, macular degeneration, causes a loss of vision in the center of the visual field. Hearing loss in both ears (what doctors call presbycusis), increases with age, beginning between ages 40 and 50. However, many people over age 65 never experience hearing loss that interferes with their lives. If you find yourself often asking friends or family to repeat themselves, or if they suggest you may have a hearing problem, see your doctor. A hearing aid can help considerably. More »