The older you get, the higher your risk of contracting an eye disease. In some cases, the disease can cause irreparable damage to your vision. In fact, 1 in 6 Americans aged 65 or older have an eye condition that can’t be corrected with glasses or contact lenses.
Despite the prevalence of vision conditions among older Americans, many fail to visit their local optometrist. That’s why the American Academy of Ophthalmology celebrates Healthy Aging Month. During this month, the Academy hopes to encourage older people to take care of their vision.
When Eyeglasses Aren’t Enough
Americans past the age of 40 often correct their deteriorating vision with a cheap pair of eyeglasses. Later on, however, they’re more likely than not to experience one of these three conditions, none of which can be fixed by wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses.
As you age, the natural lens becomes cloudy to the point where you develop cataracts. Experts say that given enough time, people can develop cataracts. Symptoms include worsening vision loss, which often leads to problems driving at night.
Not all cataracts cause blindness, but they are the most common cause of blindness in the world. Luckily, vision loss from cataracts is treatable. All an eye doctor has to do is to replace the clouded lens with an artificial one. However, cataracts are still a serious condition. If you experience progressive vision loss, visit your eye doctor right away.
Progressive vision loss can also be a symptom of macular degeneration, which has two forms: dry and wet. Dry macular degeneration is more common, accounting for 90% of all age-related cases. A person acquires the condition when cells of the macula atrophy and drusen, or waste from cells, accumulate on the retina. Wet macular degeneration, on the other hand, happens when weak blood vessels form behind the retina. These blood vessels leak fluid and blood, interfering with the retina’s function.
Your retina is connected to your brain by the optic nerve. If it’s damaged, the symptoms won’t immediately manifest. But over time, you may notice vision loss from the center. Since the condition isn’t immediately detectable, frequent visits to the eye doctor are essential to treating this condition.
Advanced Eyecare Consultants offers a wide range of eye care services. To schedule a consultation with one of our highly trained optometrists, call us at (847) 550-3524 or (847) 979-4601. Or, you can fill out this form. We serve patients in Barrington, IL.