What can cause visual impairment in the elderly?


Visual impairment is a common and potentially serious problem for older people. Personal safety decreases, and the risk of falling increases. Underreporting of vision loss is common. In one daycare center for the elderly, one-third of the residents had unrecognized severe loss of vision. Also, as many as one-fourth of the elderly were wearing inappropriate corrections for their eye problems.

The most common causes of visual impairment in the elderly are presbyopia (inability to focus on nearby objects, caused by stiffening of the lens), cataract (cloudiness of the lens), macular degeneration (deterioration of the macula, the most important area of the retina, the light-sensitive membrane of the eye), and glaucoma (damage to the optic nerve, caused by increased pressure in the eyeball).

Continue Learning about Visual Impairments

Visual Impairments

Optical issues with the eye are quite common, possibly because we started as cavemen who did not have to read tiny letters on a computer screen as you may be doing right now. Conditions that may be corrected with optics include as...

tigmatism, near and far sightedness and some forms of visual field distortion. Some eyes have trouble seeing color the way other's do. This is called color blindness, and is more common in men. As we age there are common diseases and concerns including cataracts and glaucoma. Having diabetes can make you more likely to develop retinopathy, when blood vessels in the retina break and leak into the eye. Some conditions may lead to partial or total blindness. Legal blindness is a legal term more than a medical one, but meeting the standard for legal blindness can qualify you for special help.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.