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Age-Related Eye Diseases

By Dr. Edna Joyce Santos, Ophthalmologist


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Dr. Edna Joyce Santos
Ophthalmologist


June 28, 2020

Getting older makes us more vulnerable to vision-impairing diseases. This article examines common ailments and their causes:

Age-related macular degeneration:

 Among the numerous eye conditions in which the central portion of the retina deteriorates, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common.

Wet AMD is rarer but more aggressive, while the more common dry AMD progresses slowly. While AMD usually occurs in the elderly, it may also be seen in people who are about 50 years of age.

If you are above 55, have a family history of AMD or are a heavy smoker, it is best to have tests done regularly, which will help you maintain your vision for longer.

Age-related cataract:

A cataract is a clouding of the lens, which affects vision. Over time, a cataract may grow larger and cloud more of the lens, making it harder to see. It can occur in either or both eyes, but does not spread from one eye to the other. Although there are other types of cataract, most are related to ageing. However, You don't have to be a senior citizen to get this type of cataract. People can have an age-related cataract in their 40s and 50s.

However, it is after 60 that most cataracts occur and the risk of cataract increases over the years. Other risk factors include diseases such as diabetes, smoking and alcohol use and prolonged exposure to sunlight.

Glaucoma:

it is a group of disorders where the optic nerve gets damaged due to increased pressure, leading to loss of vision and irreversible blindness. It is called the silent thief of sight because it is painless and by the time symptoms show up considerable sight may be lost. Glaucoma usually affects both eyes, but one eye may be more severely affected than the other.

Although there are congenital and infantile forms, glaucoma only occurs in people over 40. While people over 60 are at increased risk, the risk also increases with each passing year. Studies indicate that diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease are linked to glaucoma. Other common factors are thinner corneas, chronic eye inflammation and medications that increase eye pressure.

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