Sunday, March 8, 2009

Vision Loss and Aging

Dear Healthcare Lady,
Something has happened to my vision. I never needed glasses and now that I am forty the print on pill bottles seem to be much smaller. What happened to my eyesight? Betty

Dear Betty,
One of the first symptoms of aging is the loss of vision. It is quite common for mature individuals to have changes in their eyesight after the age of forty and experience some vision loss. The four most common age-related eye diseases (AREDs) are glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, and cataracts according to the National Eye Institute.

Many people suffering from AREDs do have some usable vision, but without treatment their vision will continue to deteriorate. It is important to have regular eye exams as you get older to diagnose the early onset of ARED. Without treatment permanent loss of sight is possible due to these diseases. Blindness or low vision affects approximately 1 in 28 Americans older than 40 years (Eye Disease Prevalence Research Group, 2004).

Take care of your eyesight, Betty! Get a check up!

National Eye Institute
Aging and Vision Loss Fact Sheet
How to Create a Healthy Meal Plan for the Elderly

Image Retrieved from Creative Commons Google Images March 8, 2009

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