The Importance of Taking Care of Our Eyes as We Age
As with anything, age affects our vision as more years pass by. When it comes to vision, you may feel like there’s only so much you can do, and that any conditions that develop are inevitable. But wait – you’d actually be incorrect in thinking that way! There are several steps we can take to proactively ensure healthy vision. The American Academy of Ophthalmology celebrates Healthy Aging Month and uses it to spread awareness – especially to patients over the age of 40 – for making eye health a main priority. Here is why it is incredibly important to take care of our eyes as we age.
Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration, and Cataracts
Glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts are three distressing diseases that affect adults over the age of 40. Glaucoma is an especially serious eye condition because there is no cure for it, and practically no symptoms to warn you beforehand. Depending on whether it is open-angle or closed-angle, if it progresses too far, you may develop permanently impaired vision or blindness if left untreated. Just like with cancer, early detection is key, and that detection comes from routine eye examinations by your ophthalmologist.
Age-related macular degeneration affects those who are older than age 50, and occurs within part of the eye’s retina called the macula. It presents itself in two forms: wet or dry macular degeneration. The macula is responsible for your central vision, so when it degenerates you cannot see straight ahead with complete clarity. However, your peripheral vision remains intact. There is currently no treatment for dry macular degeneration – but there has been a breakthrough recently for wet AMD. Because the cause of wet macular degeneration is newly formed blood vessels, the newer treatment can seal the vessels or cease their continued growth.
Cataracts, while potentially alarming, can be considered the least severe of the three eye conditions. Why is that? It’s because there is an effective treatment process for them! There’s no internal damage associated with cataracts, since cataracts are simply the clouding of the eye’s natural lens that can come with aging. The actual clouding is caused by a buildup of protein within the eye itself. But as stated, it’s treatable – there is a surgery that is safe and commonly performed. Should you develop this age-related eye condition, cataract surgery can restore your clear vision.
The Necessity of an Eye Exam
These three eye afflictions all affect patients that are continuing to move past middle age. Yes, they are all serious, but they can be detected with a comprehensive eye exam. The best eye exams are those that allow an ophthalmologist to examine your eyes completely, and will include dilation. So next time you go for an appointment, make sure you opt for that! Every one of us should be getting an eye exam every year as a routine. And if you are older, when you notice any changes in your normal vision, it’s imperative to make an appointment right away. Your vision is too important to leave to chance.
Call Yes Eye Specialists Today
We’re celebrating Healthy Aging Month too! So schedule an eye exam with us at Yes Eye Specialists. Call today at 954-452-9922. We have offices in Aventura, Jupiter, Plantation, Pembroke Pines, and Weston, Florida.