Vision loss is a common concern for my patients as they get older, and something that I discuss often with the residents I see at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center in Boston. One of the most common causes of vision loss for those over age 60 is age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It accounts for 90 percent of new cases of legal blindness in the U.S. Here’s what you need to know to recognize, prevent, and treat AMD.
By age 75, about 70% of seniors have cataracts, one of the most commonly diagnosed eye disorders in older adults. June is National Cataract Awareness Month, which makes it a great time to remind older adults to get their eyes checked, especially if they have vision problems that interfere with daily activities.
Think of cataracts as the late stage of a continuum of age-related eye changes. As we get older, the part of the eye called the crystalline lens starts to harden, making it more difficult to focus. Cataracts take that process a step further — the normally transparent lens gets cloudy or opaque over time, causing vision problems.
Truth: No studies to date show that your eyesight will get sharper just by eating more carrots. In order for your eyes to function properly they need the nutrient Vitamin A which is found in carrots. Be sure to talk to a doctor before adding a vitamin A supplement to your diet because too much can be harmful to your health.
As an optometrist at Hebrew SeniorLife, many of the eye problems that I treat in my patients are age-related. It is not uncommon for eyes to weaken as we age. One of those ways in which age can impact eyesight is through the onset of cataracts. Cataracts are one of the most commonly diagnosed eye disorders among older adults. In fact, by age 75—about 70 percent of people will have had cataracts.
What are cataracts?
A cataract occurs when the normally transparent lens of the eye becomes cloudy or opaque, limiting vision. Cataracts tend to develop slowly, making it difficult to detect a change. In some cases, a cataract doesn’t impair vision or affect daily life enough to warrant surgical intervention.
Have you noticed any changes in vision? As we age, it’s not uncommon for eyesight to become impaired. Glacuoma, cataracts, age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) and diabetic retinopathy are the most common eye disorders experienced by seniors. I see my fair share of patients with these conditions in my role as optometrist at Hebrew SeniorLife and, while eye problems are irritating for anyone, they are particularly frustrating for seniors as impairment hinders independence.
Here is more information about the commonly developed eye conditions among older adults—so you’ll be knowledgable about the condition and proactive about speaking with your physician, should the need arise.