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2 pages/≈550 words
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Biological & Biomedical Sciences
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Research Paper
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English (U.S.)
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Impact of Aging on Human Eyesight and Retina (Research Paper Sample)

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Impact of Aging on Human Eyesight and Retina

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Impact of Aging on Human Eyesight and Retina
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Impact of Aging on Human Eyesight and Retina
Human vision significantly deteriorates with age. According to Saftari and Kwon (2018), anatomical changes in the eye cause a reduction in image processing, contrast, and visual field sensitivity. Also, the deteriorated eyesight occurs due to adverse changes in the structure of neurons, ocular media, and pupil miosis. These changes are significantly observable in the retina, which functions to convert light into neural signals for the brain. Aging has a profound impact on the retina since it causes macular degeneration (AMD), loss of neurons, and atypical blood supply.
Aging causes deteriorated eyesight due to retina macular degeneration (AMD). According to Hernández-Zimbrón et al. (2018), AMD causes visual impairment due to pigment changes and cumulation of drusen. Handa et al. (2019) further argue that AMD presents itself in a “dry” and “wet” form. In the neovascular wet form, eyesight loss occurs due to the leaking of newly developed blood vessels in the subretinal space of Bruch’s membrane. The hemorrhage causes fibrosis which causes severe damage and vision loss. On the other hand, in the dry non-neovascular manifestation, drusen deposits in the macula cause the death of parafovea rods. In advanced dry AMD, Handa et al. (2019) identify that the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) degenerates, causing photoreceptor loss. Thus, AMD contributes to increased drusen deposits that lead to severe eyesight loss.
Aging causes neuron degeneration in the retina. The retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) are part of the neuron body that converts and transmits visual information from the eye to the brain. However, as people age, neuron production and repair are reduced. Thus, trauma to the neuron body is permanent. Furthermore, according to Pfeiffer et al. (2020), neuron loss and damage in the retina may result from genetic disorders and age-related diseases such as glaucoma. Mirzaei et al. (2017) show that glaucoma causes significant loss of RGCs and optic nerve axons. Such causes a break in communication between the eye and the brain causing permanent blindness.
Aging impacts eyesight by causing atypical blood supply in the retina. The retina is continually supplied with blood by the retrobulbar arteries. However, during aging, a report by Wei et al. (2017) shows that there is a significant decrease in blood flow velocity due to reduced vessel density in the retina. Reduced blood flow causes damage and malfunctioning of the retina due to a lack of metabolites and essential nutrients (Wiącek et al.,2019). Additionally, as people age, they are at risk of acquiring diseases such as diabetes that cause leaking of blood vessels in the retina. Such disruptions in blood flow velocity and capacity cause blurred eyesight and other adverse side effects that impair vision.
In conclusion, aging has a significant adverse impact on eyesight. The retina, which converts light to neural signals, is one of the most vulnerable parts of the eye damaged in aging. The aging process negatively impacts vision through atypical blood flow, irreversible neural loss, and macular degeneration of the retina. These factors cause irreversible damage to the eye and are the leading contributors to blindness. In light of this, it is paramount that governments should conduct more research to finding ways to mitigate the factors that contribute to age-related eyesight problems and blindness.
References
Handa, J., Bowes Rickman, C., Dick, A., Gorin, M., Miller, J., & Toth, C. et al. (2019). A systems biology approach towards understanding and treating non-n

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