Aging and Vision Changes

This section provides an overview of the aging process and associated vision changes. Included is information on eye health, vision loss, and preserving one’s sight in the senior years. Many sites have information about distinguishing between normal vision changes and warning signs of more serious conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma.
Below is a list of topics you'll find in this section. Click on a title to jump to a specific topic.


Aging and Vision Changes

American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)
General information about vision loss and older adults, including basic statistics, the impact of vision loss on health and well-being, and information on age-related eye diseases.
American Optometric Association
Age-related eye and vision conditions, driving safely after 60, and dealing with vision loss.
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Eye diseases and disorders and what can be done to protect vision; available in English and Spanish.
American Academy of Family Physicians
A review of the four most common causes of vision impairment in the elderly: age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataract, and diabetic retinopathy.
A description of the most common age-related vision changes, as well as a list of unusual conditions that require immediate attention.
National Eye Institute
Guidelines for determining whether you have low vision and suggestions for adjusting; available in English and Spanish.
Macular Degeneration Foundation (Australia)
A 32-page guide to all aspects of living with low vision, including coping strategies, orientation and mobility, and dealing with depression. While resources are specific to Australia, most of the information is universal. (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)
Senior Resource
The most common causes of vision loss in seniors; tips for easing activities of daily life.
Public Health Agency of Canada
Types of vision loss, their symptoms, and prevention measures.
The Mayo Clinic
Altered photos showing the effects on vision of common age-related eye problems.
Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB)
Warning signs for the four most common causes of significant, age-related vision loss.

Aging & Vision: Organizations & Resources to Explore

Comprehensive information on a wide range of disability-related topics, including employment, benefits, housing, transportation, health care, education, civil rights and technology; not specific to blindness and visual impairment, much of the information is relevant.
Online courses for consumers or family members. Courses on glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetes have information about understanding the condition and living well.
National Federation of the Blind (NFB)
Information on low vision, products, organization, and legislation that affect elders with vision loss.
Diseases and conditions that affect vision and hearing.
VisionAWARE's "Self-Help for Vision Loss" web site "provides free, practical, hands-on information to enhance quality of life and independence for adults with vision loss…." Topics include eye disorders, rehabilitation services, independent living, and coping with vision loss.

Research: Aging & Vision Changes

National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research
Updated in 2012, this 25-page booklet examines the cost of vision loss, describes innovative medical research on age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma. Volume I is available here.
Prevent Blindness America
A study of the prevalence of eye diseases and conditions in America. The cost of adult vision problems is $51.4 billion, and visual impairment will double in the next 30 years.