Low Vision News Recap – March 2014

As March has come and gone, and Vision Expo East wraps up, below is a compilation of news you can use relating to low vision and eye health.

Exercising for Healthier Eyes
The New York Times
A new study published in the Journal of Neuroscience suggests that physical activity could protect eyes during the aging process. Exercise increases levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF) which help to keep neurons – especially those in the retina – healthy. The study exposed two groups of mice, one sedentary and one active, to bright light. After two weeks, the sedentary group lost almost 75 percent of their retina’s neurons, causing vision deterioration.

Color Vision Tends to Fade With Age: Study
Many people lose their ability to clearly distinguish certain colors as they age, with losses typically starting around age 70 and getting worse over time, according to a new study. Researchers believe that part of color vision deterioration is caused by the natural yellowing of the eye’s lens, which creates a yellow-like filter that disrupts “blue-yellow” vision. The silver lining, according to the article, is that loss of color vision doesn’t affect day-to-day life for seniors.

Ocular Trauma: Vision Loss in Vets with Traumatic Brain Injury
This article examines the growing vision problems experienced by Iraq war veterans. Issues are the result of traumatic brain injuries that can damage the cornea, retina, lens and optic nerves. In some cases, vision problems from ocular trauma don’t show up until three years after blunt force trauma . As a result, veterans may not know that they have eye damage until they have an eye exam or start having vision problems after they’ve left military service.

AMD Prediction Models Consider Genetics, Environmental Factors
Healio Optometry
Personalized care for adults with low vision was the subject of a Vision Expo East talk from Johanna M. Seddon, MD, ScM., a Professor of Ophthalmology at Tufts University School of Medicine. According to Seddon, more than 20 genetic variants that influence the risk of age-related macular degeneration have been identified. That knowledge, when combined with environmental considerations, can allow for personalized medicine and more patient-centered care options.

Thought of the month: We all know exercise reduces stress and keeps our hearts healthy. Now, the latest research tells us that exercise can help keep our eyes healthy too. What do you do to keep your mind, body and eyes fit? Let us know in the comments section.

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