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Aging and eye health



As people age, the risk for developing eye health problems increases. Left untreated, these can lead to low vision or blindness. Here are the most common eye issues and how to recognize them.


AGE-RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION (AMD)

Common in people over 60, this disease results in the destruction of the macula, the part of the eye responsible for providing sharp central vision. Early symptoms of it are likely to be blurry vision, seeing straight lines as wavy or distorted and increased sensitivity to glare.


CATARACT

This medical condition leads to clouding of the eye lens and is common in older people and those with diabetes. Early symptoms include perceiving colours as duller, having blurry vision, seeing halos around lights and experiencing difficulty with night vision. Surgical intervention is needed to remove cataracts and restore visual function.


DIABETIC RETINOPATHY

This condition results from damage to the blood vessels in the retina and typically affects both eyes. It’s a known risk for people with diabetes. However, it also occurs in those with blood sugar levels not high enough for diabetes but high enough to cause problems, a condition known as prediabetes. Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy vary widely and regular exams are the best way to screen for it.


GLAUCOMA

Glaucoma refers to a group of diseases caused by increased fluid pressure in the eye. This damages the optic nerve and leads to gradual vision loss. While eye pain can be an early indicator, the fact is many forms don’t cause symptoms. Regular screening exams are therefore recommended.


Early diagnosis is key when it comes to effectively treating eye conditions that can impair vision. Instead of waiting for symptoms to appear, it’s best to schedule regular eye exams every one to two years.

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