Will I Experience Any Vision Or Sight Changes As I Grow Older?
It’s a sad fact that as we age we’ll likely be blighted with some kind of health condition. This, of course, also relates to our eyesight. However, many people don’t know very much about the various visual issues that become more likely as the years go by.
These can be as simple as needing to wear prescription lenses through to potentially serious conditions, including age-related macular degeneration or glaucoma.
The following provides a definitive guide as to what vision or sight changes you might potentially experience as you grow older.
The 4 Most Common Age-Related Eye Conditions
- Age-related macular degeneration
- Diabetic retinopathy
Age-related macular degeneration
Macular degeneration can occur at any age, but when it occurs later in life it’s referred to as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It can cause a significant reduction in vision because it affects the very center of the retina—an area called the macular. Early symptoms include issues with your central vision, such as appearing blurred or wavy. Without treatment, the condition can progress to central blind spots. However, a person often retains peripheral vision.
AMD tends to affect those aged 40 plus, with an estimated 6-7% of Americans having some degree of the condition. Risk factors include smoking, hypertension, and race (white people are more commonly affected than those of color).
This is caused by increased pressure within the eye. In turn, this damages the optic nerve and, without treatment, can eventually cause blindness. There are a variety of treatment options, including medication or surgery. Risk factors include long-term use of steroids, family history, and being near-sighted.
Cataract is a common condition that is most often age-related. It causes gradually decreasing vision due to the lens becoming blocked with clumping proteins. While they can be detected at any time over the age of 40, cataracts rarely cause issues until age 60 or beyond.
The reason diabetic retinopathy is included in this list is because so many Americans develop the condition as they age. Diabetes prevents the body from effectively controlling levels of sugar in the blood. In turn, this causes changes in the eye’s blood vessels, causing them to leak and create new, weaker ones. These are fragile and break, causing contraction within the eye, which can cause the retina to detach.
Treating Senior Eye Conditions, Including Macular Degeneration Treatment
- Cataract, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy treatment
- Macular degeneration treatment
Cataract, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy treatment
Cataracts are commonly treated with a simple surgical procedure that replaces the diseased lens and replaces it with an artificial one. The operation is highly successful, with millions being carried out around the world each year.
As already mentioned, glaucoma is treated in many ways. The first course of action is medication, followed by surgical procedures if necessary. Your glaucoma ophthalmologist will work in conjunction with your general physician to create the best treatment plan for you.
Diabetic retinopathy treatment is underpinned by careful management of your blood sugar levels. Should a retinal detachment occur, various surgical procedures can be used to help prevent total vision loss. Monitoring of diabetic retinopathy is vital to reduce the risk of an eye-related emergency occurring.
Macular degeneration treatment
There are two types of the disease: wet and dry. Treatment will depend on the type you suffer from. Dry AMD is more often treated holistically, with vitamin supplements, careful diet management, and visual aids.
Wet AMD is treated more aggressively, either with eye injections every few months or perhaps in conjunction with a type of laser surgery, known as photodynamic therapy. While there is no definitive cure for AMD, the latest treatment options are highly successful, preventing deterioration in 90% of cases and with many people experiencing visual improvement.
Discover Cutting-Edge Age-Related Macular Degeneration Treatment at the WBEC
One of the specialties at the West Boca Eye Center is that of treating macular degeneration. This potentially sight-threatening condition is something that needs the ultimate in clinical care. At the WBEC, our academic-grade facilities and expert ophthalmologists ensure that you’ll be able to take advantage of the very latest scientific breakthroughs into proven treatment.
Discover more about our treatments at https://westbocaeyecenter.com/services/macular-degeneration/ and get in touch today to organize your expert consultation.