What are some age-related changes in vision seen in older patients?


Older adults commonly have the following changes in their vision:  

  • Presbyopia, an inability to focus up close because of decreased elasticity in the ocular lens
  • Narrowing of the visual field and more difficulty with peripheral vision
  • Decreased pupil size and responsiveness to light
  • Difficulty with vision in dimly lit areas or at night (requires more light to see adequately)
  • Increased opacity of the lens, which causes sensitivity to glare, blurred vision, and interference with night vision
  • Yellowing of the lens, which reduces the ability to differentiate low-tone colors of blues, greens, and violets (yellow, orange, and red hues are more clearly visible)
  • Distorted depth perception and difficulty correctly judging the height of curbs and steps
  • Decreased lacrimal secretions

Because visual accommodation decreases with aging, older adults have an increased risk of falling.  An older person has difficulty making a visual adjustment when moving from a well-lit room into the evening darkness.  For example, when stepping out of a dark area into the sunlight.  The increased time needed to accommodate near and far, dark and light, is often the reason that older adults do not drive at night.  

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  • Last Updated Jun 20, 2024
  • Views 7
  • Answered By Tamiko Kemp

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