Age-Related Vision Loss: Three Conditions That You Should Be Watching For
Aging is an inevitable part of life, and unfortunately, aging is often accompanied by some downsides. One of those downsides can be vision loss. Fortunately, when caught early, many types of vision loss can be stopped or slowed down. Here are three such conditions that you should be aware of so that you can take early action against them.
Glaucoma is a condition that damages the optic nerve, which is the nerve that carries images to the brain so that you can see. The damage is usually caused by pressure within the eye and typically occurs after age 50. If left untreated, it can lead to vision loss or even blindness. Glaucoma comes on gradually, with few noticeable symptoms, which is why regular eye exams are important.
To diagnose glaucoma, your eye doctor will dilate your eyes and do a full eye exam as well as use a tonometer to measure your eye pressure. Treatment is geared toward reducing pressure and may include medications, laser therapy, or surgery.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a condition that damages the macula, the part of the retina responsible for central vision. There are two types of AMD – dry and wet. Dry AMD is the most common type and is caused by a buildup of waste products in the macula. Wet AMD occurs when blood vessels under the macula leak fluid, damaging the surrounding tissue.
Currently, there is no treatment for AMD, but certain vitamins and minerals can slow its progression. Your optometrist can recommend a regimen of vitamins and mineral supplements. They may also recommend using an Amsler grid, which is a paper with grid lines that you look at frequently and take note of any changes in grid size or wavy lines. These changes can signify AMD and lead to early precautions and supplements to slow its progression.
As its name implies, diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes. Diabetes is caused by high blood sugar levels, which can damage the blood vessels in the retina. In the early stages, there are often few symptoms, but as it progresses, you may experience blurred vision, an increase in eye floaters, blank areas in your field of vision, and poor night vision. Diagnosis requires a full eye examination from your eye doctor. Treatments include reducing blood sugar, blood pressure control, and prescribed medications. If caught early, retinopathy can be slowed or even reversed before permanent damage occurs.
These eye conditions occur due to aging. But wisdom also comes with age, so they say, so you have no excuse for not seeing your eye care specialist on a regular basis so you can reduce the chances of permanent vision loss. Visit a vision loss treatment center near you to learn more.