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4 Eye Diseases You’re At Risk for As You Age

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4 Eye Diseases You’re At Risk for As You Age

By Marlo Sollitto, contributing editor

By age 65, 1-in-3 Americans have some form of vision-impairing eye disease.
There are four major age-related eye diseases (AREDs) — glaucoma, cataracts, age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy that affect seniors.


Glaucoma damages the eye’s optic nerve and results in vision loss and blindness. Sometimes, there are no initial symptoms, so as many as 1 million people may have glaucoma and do not know they have it. It is one of the main causes of blindness in the United States.

At first, glaucoma has no symptoms. However, as the disease progresses, a person with glaucoma may notice his or her side vision gradually failing.

There are many different types of medications (in eye drops or pills) that are used to treat glaucoma. In some people, however, medications alone do not control the eye pressure, and surgery needs to be performed. One type of surgery uses a laser — called trabeculoplasty — to improve the flow of fluids out of the eye. This can be done in your doctor’s office. There is also conventional surgery — called trabeculectomy — in which your doctor creates a new drainage path in the eye, under the eyelid.

Warning Signs That Point to Age-Related Eye Disease

Risk factors for glaucoma include: age, family history of glaucoma, taking steroid medications and being near-sighted.

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4 Eye Disease to Look Out For As You Age originally appeared on

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+ add your own
1:07AM PDT on Apr 10, 2013

I am 23 and have to work for hours while looking on computer screen. What should I do on regular basis to avoid eye problems?

6:09PM PDT on Oct 16, 2011

Great information. Thanks for an informative article.

10:21PM PDT on Sep 20, 2011

Thanks, good information. I have a condition my eye doctor says they have yet to know for sure what causes it. I have one eye that has developed blisters. I have to use an ointment at night, as they seem to swell with fluid during the sleeping period and a drop to use in the day to help dry them up. I have noticed that when my allergies flare up so do the blisters in that eye. It is like looking through a glass of water. I don't know if they have a name for this condition, my doc didn't say what it was called. I will ask him next time I am there. He did say it was a rare condition. I am certainly glad it has only attacked one of my eyes. Because it seriously distorts your vision.

If there is anyone else who has info on this sort of condition I would like to hear about it.

4:56PM PDT on Sep 11, 2011


4:36AM PDT on Sep 7, 2011


5:09PM PDT on Sep 4, 2011

Thanks for the info. I am a smoker, I have high blood pressure, high ocular pressure, small cataracts, dry eyes etc. I use drops for the pressure, drops for dry eyes and have had a laser hole made in the iris. Doesn't look good for me!!

8:05AM PDT on Sep 3, 2011

Thank you

9:09AM PDT on Aug 27, 2011

One problem that is not quite so common but is certainly difficult to deal with is retinal vascular occlusion. In this condition, one or more small blood vessels at the back of the eye push their way forward and actually cover part of the retina, blocking all light in that particular part of the vision field.

As a test for this, the patient is asked to look into a device that has one darkened "field" for each eye. Tiny lights are then blinked on quickly at random in all areas, and the patient pushes a button whenever a light is seen. From this, a "map" of the patient's vision field can be drawn. In my own case, from the middle of the right eye downward, I did not record a single blinking light. That part of my vision is simply covered up, and has been for more than a decade. It's gone. This is particularly annoying since I need glasses for reading, and this peculiarity makes bifocals rather ineffective (since the "reading" part of bifocals is usually just in the lower part of the field of vision).

5:56AM PDT on Aug 27, 2011

thanks for the article.

2:26AM PDT on Aug 27, 2011

good to know

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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