In a previous blog, we discussed the issues of low vision and some of the conditions that can lead to that. For the month of March, it is known as Save Your Vision Month, we’ll be discussing at large the conditions that can cause low vision and even blindness. These conditions are as follows:
- Cataracts: This is a condition that creates a cloudy film over the lenses of the eyes. This is a completely age-related condition that affects mostly older adults. According to the National Eye Institute, by age 80 almost half of all Americans have had cataracts or have had surgery to remove the cataracts. If your senior loved one is noticing blurred vision, sometimes a different prescription lense may be all that they need to improve their vision. However, if it progresses surgery is required. Cataract surgery is one of the most common surgeries in America. It’s a quick, nearly painless procedure that yields high, positive results. Your senior loved one does not need to be rushed into such a decision. Cataracts will not cause permanent damage to the eye if left unattended. However, it is a good idea to get it treated as soon as possible, as it may affect their everyday life.
- Glaucoma: Glaucoma is not one singular disease that affects the eye. It is a group of diseases that causes damage to the optic nerve. It’s a serious disease that diminishes vision and can even leave someone blind. Luckily, early detection and treatment is enough to prevent any type of permanent damage. If your senior loved one gets their eyes examined periodically, it might be best to ask their eye doctor to do tests for glaucoma. There are various tests that need to be done in order to determine if glaucoma is present, however it’s a small price to pay if it helps save someone’s vision.
- Age Related Macular Degeneration: According to the National Eye Institute, Age Related Macular (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in people over 50. The macular itself is a small, tiny spot near the center of the retina that is used for central focus and sharpness. It’s so tiny, yet so important for everyday sight. It will not cause a loved one to go completely blind, but it will make life difficult when it comes to everyday tasks such as driving, seeing faces, reading and writing, cooking, and cleaning around the house. There are no treatments for the early stages of AMD, however there are preventative measures your loved one can take in order to reduce the risk. One of those measures is quitting smoking. Researches found that smoking can increase your chance of getting AMD by 50 percent. It’s also a good idea to maintain blood pressure and cholesterol in order to avoid a higher risk of AMD.
- Ocular Hypertension: This eye-related disease involves high pressure within the eye. It can be confused for glaucoma, but one of the criteria for this disease involves no evidence of glaucoma in the eye. Pressure within the eye is measure in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). Preferably, you want your senior’s eye pressure to be around 10 to 21 mm HG, however if it’s higher than 21 then they can be diagnosed with Ocular Hypertension. This can lead to glaucoma and permanent damage to the optic nerve. There are no signs or symptoms of Ocular Hypertension, so getting a senior loved one’s eye pressure tested is crucial to their eye health. There are also no treatments for this disease, but if it is detected careful monitoring can prevent major losses to vision.
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