This September is Healthy Aging Month, an awareness month designed to encourage older adults to keep an eye out for symptoms of common health concerns, including visual disorders.
Common eye conditions for older Americans include:
- Age-related macular degeneration
- Diabetic eye disease
Since many of these conditions contain no early symptoms, it’s essential to receive regular, comprehensive eye exams, particularly if you’re over the age of 60.
What is age-related macular degeneration?
Age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is a degenerative eye disease that leads to a loss in central vision. People who develop this disorder have trouble focusing on objects straight ahead of them, leading to struggles with activities like reading, driving or watching television. Over time, these symptoms will worsen.
Thankfully, AMD is treatable. Injections, supplements, photodynamic therapy and laser surgery are all ways in which doctors can work to prevent further loss of vision.
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye disease characterized by damage to the ocular nerve. It is typically divided into two subtypes: open-angle glaucoma and closed-angled glaucoma. People with high eye pressure are at a particularly high risk of developing the disorder, as well people with high blood pressure. African Americans and Mexican Americans are also at an increased risk of developing the disorder.
The vision loss associated with glaucoma cannot be reversed, which means that catching it early is essential. Doctors can prevent the disorder from progressing by prescribing medications and performing surgery.
What is a cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens. Cataract symptoms include cloudy or blurry vision, glare, difficulties seeing at night, double vision in one eye, and frequent prescription changes in your glasses or contact lenses. These symptoms may be subtle at first, which is why it’s important to stay in regular contact with your doctor.
Doctors have been treating cataracts for thousands of years. During cataract surgery, your eye will be numbed and the doctor will carefully remove the old lens and replace it with a new, artificial lens.
What is diabetic eye disease?
Diabetic eye disease is any eye disease that disproportionately affects individuals with diabetes. Diabetic eye diseases include diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, glaucoma, and cataracts.
If you have diabetes, it’s important to regularly meet with your eye doctor to make sure you haven’t developed any of these illnesses.
What to learn more?
Bonner Eye Clinic would be happy to help you learn more about eye conditions that plague older adults. Contact us today to set up a comprehensive, dilated eye exam.