Why Is My Vision Blurry?
Age-Related Eye Changes
Department of Biology
This interrupted case study is based on the true experiences of the author's mother, who is referred to in the story as "Mrs. Horton" for reasons of privacy. Mrs. Horton, like many seniors, had her life altered due to age-related vision changes. As students work through the case, they will learn about vision and structural changes, as well as treatment and prognosis for presbyopia, cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration. In addition, shingles of the cornea and age-related glandular dysfunctions leading to dry eye and blurry vision will be investigated. In order to understand these and other age-related vision disorders, previous knowledge of the anatomy of the eye and its accessory structures is necessary. This case study was originally designed for a two-semester, freshman anatomy and physiology course. It is also appropriate for a sophomore pathophysiology course, especially if the student population will be working with seniors in the future. Other possible courses include aging, gerontology, and nursing.
- Gain an appreciation for common eye conditions seen with an aging population.
- Describe the causes and treatment for age-related disorders of glands associated with the eye.
- Compare and contrast age-related vision changes on the basis of visual impairment, structures involved, treatment, and prognosis: presbyopia, cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration.
- Understand the functions of the four cranial nerves (II, III, IV, VI) associated with the eye as well as the effects of shingles associated with the trigeminal nerve (V).
- Understand the role of the lens in accommodation and the resulting vision changes post-cataract surgery.
KeywordsAccommodation; hypermetropia; myopia; presbyopia; astigmatism; blepharitis; glaucoma; cataracts; shingles; diabetic retinopathy; macular degeneration
Educational LevelHigh school, Undergraduate lower division, Clinical education
Type / MethodsInterrupted
Subject HeadingsAnatomy | Nursing | Physiology |
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The following video(s) are recommended for use in association with this case study.
- How the Eye Works Animation
This basic video begins with an explanation of how a normal eye focuses light rays on the retina, and then explains nearsightedness and farsightedness and how corrective lenses work to improve vision. Running time: 3:22 min. Produced by AniMed, 2016.