Eye care for seniors is important. Vision changes occur as you get older and as you reach your 60s and beyond, you need to be aware of the warning signs of age-related eye health problems that could cause vision loss. Many eye diseases progress slowly and are painless and may go undetected without proper care from an eye doctor. The key to Eye Care for Senior Citizens is early detection and this is accomplished by a regular eye exam. If scheduled on an annual basis (as recommended by the American Optometric Association), many of these conditions can be caught early and their progression slowed. The Eye Doctors at SoCal Eye in Long Beach, CA have put together some of the conditions that are common in seniors.
Cataracts can cause blurry vision, decreased contrast sensitivity, decreased ability to see under low light level conditions (such as when driving at night), dulling of colors and increased sensitivity to glare. Cataracts are when the normally clear lens of the eye turns cloudy or even opaque. This cloudiness will interfere with normal vision. Cataracts are treated with cataract surgery when the vision loss becomes un-manageable. Wearing sunglasses and a hat with a brim to reduce sun exposure, increasing antioxidant vitamin consumption by eating more leafy green vegetables and taking nutritional supplements such as lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin E and zinc have been linked to reducing the risk of certain eye diseases, including cataracts.
Glaucoma is often painless and can have no obvious symptoms until there is a significant loss of side vision. The disease is characterized by damage to the optic nerve resulting in loss of peripheral (side) vision and if left untreated, it can lead to total blindness. The good news is if glaucoma is detected and treated early, its progression can be slowed or stopped. Depending upon the type of glaucoma, treatment may include medication (usually prescription eyedrops), laser treatment, or surgery to lower the pressure in the eye and prevent further damage to the optic nerve.
AMD affects the macula. The macula is located in the center of the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. It causes central vision loss which is needed for seeing objects clearly and for common daily tasks such as reading and driving. Peripheral or side vision remains unaffected. The condition is characterized by blurry vision and wavy vision where straight lines appear crooked. Certain types of AMD can be treated with surgery or injections but early detection is critical.
This condition occurs in people with diabetes. It is the result of progressive damage to the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina and characterized by a swelling of retinal tissue and cloudy vision. Because its initial symptoms are very slight or even unnoticeable, diabetic retinopathy often goes undiagnosed. Once detected, it can be treated by laser surgery or prescription drugs. At its most severe, diabetic retinopathy can cause blindness but early detection can allow the condition to be managed in its early stages.
Dry Eye is a chronic eye condition that occurs when the eyes do not produce enough or the right kind of tears to provide sufficient lubrication. Tears or tear film cover the eye during blinking and keep the surface smooth and clear. The tear film is important for comfortable, healthy eyes. Insufficient lubrication of the eye leads to inflammation and damage of the eye’s surface and discomfort. The sensations can range from stinging and burning to a scratchy/gritty feeling synonymous with a foreign body being caught in the eye. Dry eye is a common and often chronic problem, particularly in older adults.
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The key to success with a Senior Eye Care Program is Early Detection. A number of these conditions can be caught early through a Comprehensive Eye Exam, the progression of the diseases can be slowed dramatically. SoCal Eye doctors are the Senior Eye Care Specialists in Long Beach. Schedule an Appointment today at LAKEWOOD (562) 531-2020 | LOS ALAMITOS (562) 598-7728 or send us an Online Consultation Request