Some problems with vision can occur at any age. Other problems are more common as we age. Knowing the warning signs of aging vision problems can help you protect your sight from permanent damage.
• Dark curtain in your vision – If you have the sensation that a dark curtain has settled across your vision, you may have a retinal detachment. The retina is the inside lining of the eye that contains the cells that convert light into electrical images for the brain. If the retina detaches from the eye, it loses its supply of blood and oxygen. The retina must be reattached within just a few hours to prevent permanent blindness.
• Floaters –The gel-like fluid inside the eye sometimes thins and separates from the retina at the back of the eye. This condition is called vitreous detachment and can cause thin strands or spots to float through your vision. Having a few floaters is normal. But if you experience a sudden storm of floaters, they could be a symptom of a more serious vision problem caused by a tear in the retina or by the retina starting to separate from the wall of the eye. This can cause permanent loss of vision. If you see a sudden flood of floaters, contact your eye doctor immediately.
• Eye pain – Sudden pain in the eye accompanied by redness, nausea, and vomiting may be symptoms that the optic nerve is being compressed. This can be caused by narrow-angle glaucoma, which is the result of a sudden build-up of pressure inside the eye. This can put pressure on the optic nerve which can cause permanent damage and blindness.
• Double vision – Double images, or “ghost” images can be caused by a variety of eye problems. If the change in vision is sudden, it may be a symptom of a serious health concern such as a stroke. If you suddenly develop double vision, see your doctor right away for an evaluation.