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Common Vision Problems Facing Seniors

Common Vision Problems Facing Seniors

Taking care of your eyes and getting regular exams give you the best chance of keeping your eyes and vision healthy as you age. By the time you reach age 60, eye diseases that cause visual impairments have been developing for years without causing symptoms, but treatments are available when you have problems.

The team at CHW Cares in New York City is here to assist. We provide compassionate and comprehensive eye care, with a specific emphasis on assisting seniors in keeping their eyes as healthy and vision as clear as possible.

It’s important to be aware of age-related eye problems so you know the warning signs and can get prompt treatment to preserve your vision. Here are the top four eye illnesses that might cause visual issues as you age.

Glaucoma

The most common type of glaucoma, called primary open-angle glaucoma, arises when the pressure inside your eye becomes too high.

The center of your eye is filled with fluid, which generates precisely the proper amount of pressure to keep your eye's form. This fluid is constantly replenished as old fluid drains from the eye and is replaced by new fluid.

When the drainage system becomes clogged, fluid builds up and your intraocular pressure rises. Without treatment, the continuing pressure gradually destroys the optic nerve. As more of the nerve fails, you notice changes in your peripheral or side vision.

Glaucoma treatment usually begins with prescription eye drops that help maintain your eye pressure by enhancing drainage, decreasing fluid production, or both. Laser surgery can also reopen the drainage system.

Cataracts

Cataracts form when proteins in the eye’s lens clump together and cloud the lens. As cataracts enlarge, you may notice hazy vision, double vision, poor night vision, and light sensitivity.

Wearing sunglasses can reduce your risk of acquiring cataracts and halt their growth. UV light causes changes in the lens that contribute to cataract formation.

Eyeglasses can correct your vision in the early stages of cataract formation. Cataract surgery, on the other hand, can successfully treat this eye issue — safely and precisely removing the old lens and replacing it with a new one.

Age-related macular degeneration

Macular degeneration, also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), happens when the macula, the center of your retina, deteriorates. The macula is densely packed with photoreceptor cells that help you to see by turning light into impulses that travel to your brain via the optic nerve.

When you have AMD, the photoreceptor cells in your eyes are destroyed, resulting in vision loss. The type of cell determines how it’s harmed.

Dry macular degeneration

The most common type, dry AMD develops when the macula thins and small protein deposits form. These deposits, known as drusen, grow in size and number over time, causing progressive damage to the macula. Dry AMD causes hazy spots in the center of your vision, which expand as the illness develops.

There is no cure for dry AMD, but we can delay the progressive damage with a dietary supplement containing a particular blend of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals.

Wet macular degeneration

This condition occurs when the retina produces abnormal blood vessels. Wet AMD is less prevalent than dry AMD, but it causes more vision loss. 

When the blood vessels in your eye leak fluids into the macula, it causes swelling and cell damage. In certain situations, the damage happens quickly, and you notice changes in your central vision right away.

The most common treatment for wet AMD is an injection of an anti-VEGF drug. It works to reduce the size of the blood vessels, which may improve your vision. 

Diabetes-related retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy occurs when high blood sugar levels damage the blood vessels in your retina. Initially, the injured blood vessels produce bulges that obstruct blood flow, causing fluids to leak into the retina.

Your body attempts to fix the condition over time by producing new blood vessels. These vessels are weak and often leak. Fluid accumulation might ruin the macula or cause retinal detachment.

Taking care of your eyes is vital as you age. For top-quality senior eye care, give us a call at our Washington Heights office and schedule a consultation with board-certified ophthalmologist Maryam Yamani, MD. You can also make an appointment at CHW Cares using our online booking tool.

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