As you age, your health can start to deteriorate in many different ways. Among the health problems that you could develop are a number of eye conditions that are more common in the elderly. You should have regular eye exams as you begin to mature. This is particularly true if you begin to notice any differences in your vision or other problems that could relate to vision. There are several different conditions that you should watch out for and that your eye doctor will test for when you visit them. As well as standard eye exams, eye doctors can perform comprehensive dilated eye exam, where they widen your pupils to look for signs of certain conditions. Read on to find out about the problems that could develop as you age.
Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
Age-related Macular Degeneration is a disease that damages the ability to see sharply and centrally. It affects people aged 50 and over, damaging the macula, which is responsible for this type of vision. The progression of the disease can be fast or slow, and can lead to loss of vision in one or both eyes. Apart from age, other risk factors for AMD include smoking, race (more common in Caucasians) and family history. People in the intermediate stage of the disease might be able to slow its progress by taking high doses of vitamins and minerals. If severe vision loss occurs, different therapies such as laser therapy may help.
A cataract occurs when the lens in the eye becomes cloudy. Cataracts are very common in old age. By the age of 80, almost half of Americans have a cataract or have had cataract surgery. A cataract occurs when the protein in the eye’s lens begins to clump together and cause it to become cloudy. Smoking and diabetes could contribute to the forming of cataracts, among other things. As well as avoiding smoking, you can also protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses in the sun and eating foods with antioxidants. People aged 60 or over should have a comprehensive dilated eye exam every two years. The Walmart eye exam price is fairly competitive compared to others, if you’re worried about the cost. Cataracts can be treated with better eyeglasses, wearing sunglasses or using magnifying glasses. However, if these don’t work then surgery is the only effective treatment.
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. It is not one disease, but a group of diseases that cause damage to the optic nerve. To protect your eyes against serious vision loss, glaucoma needs to be treated early. There are several risk factors involved in glaucoma. African-Americans over the age of 40 and everyone over the age of 60 (especially Mexican Americans) are at greater risk. Family history also plays a role, so you should find out if you have a history of glaucoma in your family. Glaucoma is often treated with eye-drops.
As well as being aware of certain risk factors for different eye conditions, you should make sure you have regular eye exams. Medicaid will cover exams for some people at risk of certain diseases.