Testing for eye diseases

As we get older, we are more likely to develop eye diseases. The most common eye diseases in older people are:

A cataract

The lens in your eye becomes misty (as though you are looking through a veil or a fogged up window). If you develop cataracts, you will normally get them in both eyes, although one may be worse than the other. Developing cataracts may simply mean that your glasses need changing more often, or that you find bright lights such as sunlight more dazzling than you used to. If the cataracts become bad enough to affect your lifestyle, you can have them removed during a routine operation.

For more information see our page on cataracts.


Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

AMD affects your central vision and your ability to see detail. This can make it difficult to read and to recognise faces. There are two types of AMD:

  • Dry AMD cannot be treated but tends to progress slowly.
  • Wet AMD can be treated and may progress quickly.

Symptoms of AMD include seeing a blurry, blank or distorted patch in or near the centre of your vision. If you notice this you should contact you optometrist straight away.

For more information see our page on AMD



The pressure inside your eye causes damage to the nerve at the back of your eye. It is painless and causes no symptoms in the early stages, so it is important that you have regular eye examinations to make sure that if you have glaucoma it is detected early. If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to tunnel vision and blindness.

For more information see our page on glaucoma