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Healthy Aging Month

Healthy Aging Month

September is Healthy Aging Month

It’s Healthy Aging Month! This September, the American Academy of Ophthalmology encourages older adults to keep an eye out for symptoms of common visual disorders.

These disorders include:

  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Diabetic eye disease

Because the majority of these disorders have no early symptoms, it’s important 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 (AMD) is a degenerative disorder characterized by diminishing centralized vision. People with macular degeneration may find it difficult to focus on objects straight ahead of them, causing them to struggle with activities like reading, driving or watching television. Over time, these symptoms will worsen.

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, often due to pressure within the eye. Glaucoma is 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 is irreversible, which means that catching it early is essential. Doctors can prevent glaucoma from progressing by prescribing medications and performing surgery.

What is a cataract?

A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens. Individuals with cataracts often complain about cloudy or blurry vision, glare, difficulties seeing at night, double vision in one eye, and frequent prescription changes in their glasses or contact lenses. Cataracts symptoms may be subtle at first, and so it’s important to regularly have your eyes checked by a professional.

Cataracts are treated through surgery. 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. Doctors have been performing cataract surgery for thousands of years – in fact, it’s one of the oldest known surgeries.

What is diabetic eye disease?

Diabetic eye disease isn’t a singular disease – in fact, it’s any eye disease that disproportionately affects individuals with diabetes. People with diabetes are at an increased risk for diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, glaucoma and cataracts.

If you have diabetes, you must regularly meet with an eye doctor to make sure you haven’t developed any of these illnesses.

What to learn more?

Eye Care Professionals 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.

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