Did you know? One in six Americans, 65 and older, have a vision issue that cannot be corrected with glasses or contact lenses? It’s true. The older you are, the greater your risk for developing many eye conditions. Still, many seniors don’t have an annual comprehensive eye exam. To spotlight the importance of caring for aging eyes, Eye Medical Clinic partners with the American Academy of Ophthalmology for Healthy Aging Month. We are raising awareness of the signs of vision loss and offer steps to help seniors take care of their eyes.
Healthy Vision is a Priority in Every Season, But Especially as You Age
More than 40 million Americans are currently 65 or older. And we expect this number to grow to more than 88 million by 2050. That’s a lot of seniors! In addition, by that same year, the number of Americans with age-related eye diseases will double. And the number of people living with low vision, triple. Early detection and treatment are key to saving sight.
Despite what many people think, losing vision as you get older is not normal. That said, older individuals are at higher risk for certain eye diseases and conditions. Things like age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and dry eye. Some of these conditions have no early symptoms. But we can easily detect them during a comprehensive eye exam. This is something we recommend our patients have annually!
Which Vision Conditions are Age-Related?
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
People over the age of 50 are at higher risk for developing Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). This condition happens when a part of the retina called the macula is damaged. With AMD, you lose your central vision, but your peripheral (side) vision will still be normal.
Did you know we have a Retina specialist on the team here at EMC? Well, we do! Dr. Tamer Hadi is our resident expert on all things retina-related. If you haven’t met him, you should!
Diabetic retinopathy is a common eye disease associated with diabetes. It is considered a leading cause of blindness in American adults. Diabetes causes weakening of the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina. As a result, fluid and blood leak from the weakened vessels, and new vessels that grow can be distorted and then bleed. These vessels can injure the retina, leading to loss of healthy vision.
Diabetic retinopathy typically develops without any warning signs. In fact, damage to the eye can occur slowly and may go unnoticed until there is significant damage. If you have diabetes, please work closely with Dr. Hadi to monitor and treat this sight-stealing condition.
Cataracts are the most common reason people over age 50 experience vision loss. According to Prevent Blindness America, cataracts currently affect more than 22 million Americans. Important to know, we can’t treat cataracts with medication or changes to your lifestyle and diet. A surgeon must remove them for vision to be restored. We tell our patients that when cataracts begin to negatively affect their lifestyle and the activities they enjoy, it’s time to talk to an expert.
At Eye Medical Clinic, we offer the latest technologies and techniques in cataract surgery, including Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery. In fact, major advances in lens exchange procedures allow people just like you to continue to live their lives the way they want to live them. And we offer a variety of Premium Lens Implants that can correct your cataracts AND reduce your dependency on glasses, bifocals and readers.
If you haven’t met our Premium Lens Cataract Surgeon, Dr. Jeanie Paik, you need to! She has the experience and the expertise to help you achieve restored and even improved vision. So, take control of your health (including your eyes!).
Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that cause damage to the optic nerve located in the back of your eye. The damage is caused by high pressure in your eye and more often occurs in patients over the age of 60 (over 40 if Hispanic or African American).
Glaucoma does run in families, but researchers are still looking at how your risk is affected by family history. Glaucoma in your family tree does not guarantee you will develop the condition, but it is a significant risk factor you should be aware of. Also important to know, symptoms start slowly, so you may not even notice them until the condition has developed further. In truth, the only way to find out if you have glaucoma is to have a comprehensive dilated eye exam.
The goal of glaucoma treatment at Eye Medical Clinic is to preserve your current level of vision and to prevent further vision loss. Treatment can vary, depending on the type of glaucoma diagnosed, the degree to which the glaucoma has progressed, your underlying risk factors and other variables.
Healthy Vision to See Every Moment
At Eye Medical Clinic, we want patients to enjoy quality life in every season. And that includes your golden years! Our doctors ave experience in diagnosing and managing many age-related eye conditions.
Eye Medical Clinic has built a reputation for quality eye care that generations of families have come to trust. We invite you to experience the VIP treatment every patient receives at Eye Medical Clinic. Our team of experienced doctors, as well as a highly trained staff, can help you enjoy your life to the fullest…with the clear vision you deserve. So Schedule your comprehensive eye exam today.