How does ageing affect our eyes?

Ageing can affect your eyes in many different ways. For example, it can cause the conjunctiva to loosen, the muscle that opens and closes the eyelid to weaken or even change your eyelid position, or lead to changes in your iris.

1. Loosening of the conjunctiva The conjunctiva is a thin layer of tissue that coats your eyeball and eyelid. In old age, the conjunctiva may thicken, sometimes becoming so swollen that it resembles a web or curtain. This can cause irritation and problems with vision.

2. Weakening of the muscle that opens and closes your eyelids Your orbicularis oculi is a muscle found in your eyelid that contracts to open or close your eye. As you age, this muscle can become weak, meaning that your eyelids may no longer close properly or may be cause the eyelid position to change. This can cause dry eye , the lashes to turn out or inwards and cause small particles to remain on the surface of your eye.

3. Changes in your iris The iris is the coloured part of your eye that controls the amount of light entering and leaving your eyeball. Changes in its colour may occur with old age and lead to discolouration in some part or all of the iris. hence changing the eyes appearance.

4. The other parts of your eye Like most organs, your eyes are affected by ageing in many ways. Your eyelids and tear glands weaken, the ability to read deteriorates, and your eyesight gets worse. Ageing also affects the surrounding muscles that aid with blinking, looking at distant objects, or moving your eyes. These muscles may weaken so much that they cause changes in eyes appearance like a droopy eyelid which is known as ptosis.

5. Other ways ageing affects your eyes.

Other possible changes in your eyes and eyes appearance include cataracts, cloudy-looking lenses, and eye inflammation. These conditions can lead to decreased eyesight and must be treated if they are affecting your quality of life. You may also experience dryness, itching or burning of the eyes and eyelids, redness around the eye area that may look like a rash or pimple, or numbness of your eyelids. These symptoms are signs of becoming dehydrated due to poor eye care. Changes to the shape of your eyelids, your ability to open and close your eyes, and changes in the appearance of your iris may occur as you age. Other areas of the eye that can be affected include the conjunctiva, a thin tissue that coats your eyelids and eyeball; the orbicularis oculi, or “eyelid muscle”; and the lens – an essential part of your eye that focuses light.

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