By Marlo Sollitto, AgingCare.com 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.
Risk factors for glaucoma include: age, family history of glaucoma, taking steroid medications and being near-sighted.
4 Eye Disease to Look Out For As You Age originally appeared on AgingCare.com