Getting regular eye tests is important during all stages of life, but it's particularly crucial as you start to get older. There are many eye diseases that develop as you age, and catching these early can be essential to getting the correct treatment and reducing the amount of vision loss you experience.

Even if you haven't noticed any changes in your eyesight, it's worth visiting your optometrist for a checkup. Some eye diseases can be detected by a professional long before you start to notice symptoms, giving you the best chance of getting the right treatment. Read on for details of three common eye diseases that you should watch out for as you age.

Macular degeneration

The macula is the part of the eye responsible for central vision, and it can start to function less effectively as you get older. The exact triggers for macular degeneration are currently unknown, but there are a few things that may help to reduce your risk. Eating a diet that's rich in leafy greens like spinach, quitting smoking if you smoke, reducing the amount of alcohol you drink and wearing sunglasses when outside are all considered to be potentially helpful. If you already have macular degeneration, then your optometrist will help you to make the most of your remaining vision by prescribing glasses. Some forms of macular degeneration are caused by abnormal blood vessels in the eye, and can be treated with medication and laser eye surgery.


Glaucoma occurs when the optic nerve, which connects your eyes to your brain, becomes damaged. A common cause of glaucoma is pressure in the eye caused by a buildup of fluid. Glaucoma leads to loss of vision in the late stages, but is usually symptom-free in the early stages, which can make it tricky to detect yourself. It's essential to have regular eye tests if you want to avoid being surprised by late-stage glaucoma. You may be prescribed eye drops or laser surgery to reduce the buildup of fluid in the eye.


Cataracts are caused by the lens of the eye becoming less transparent, resulting in vision that looks cloudy or misty. Cataracts are extremely common in old age and make it harder for you to see in dim lighting conditions. It's simple for your optometrist to check your eyes for cataracts, and treatment options include stronger glasses or cataract surgery, where the affected lens of your eye is replaced with a clear, plastic lens.