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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 3.4 million people living in the United States age 40 or older are either legally blind or visually impaired. The team at Allied Eye wants you to learn about the age-related eye diseases that plague older Americans the most.
The Facts on Glaucoma and Cataracts
There are two major age-related eye diseases that affect older adults.
According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness within the United States.
When glaucoma occurs, the eye’s optic nerve is damaged. Because there are rarely early signs of glaucoma (which is why eye exams are so important), it usually isn’t treated in its earliest stages, which can lead to vision loss or blindness.
Risk factors of glaucoma include:
- Being older than age 40
- Having a family history of the condition
- Having high blood pressure
- Having diabetes or problems with blood circulation
- Being farsighted or nearsighted
- Being of African or Hispanic heritage
Glaucoma can be treated in multiple ways, including eye drops, oral medications, or either laser or traditional surgery.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, a cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens, which is normally clear.
Symptoms of cataracts include:
- Blurry vision
- Double vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Difficulty seeing at night
The only way to help correct the damage and vision loss caused by cataracts is through cataract surgery. During the procedure, the cataract is removed and replaced with an artificial lens. This helps to restore vision to the eye.
The best part about cataract surgery is that it can typically be performed on an outpatient basis.
While age is the biggest risk factor for cataracts, women are also at a slightly higher risk than men of suffering from this eye disease. In addition, adults who have a family history of cataracts are more likely to have cataracts.
Are you age 40 or older? Has it been a while since your last eye exam? Call Allied Eye for an appointment today!