Archive for August, 2014

Low Vision through the Ages

Posted on: August 26th, 2014 by lowvision

Even though many baby boomers place an emphasis on health, well-being, and prevention, many may be oblivious to the risk the have for developing low vision disorders. Protecting your eyes is a lifelong commitment and early detection is key to helping stem the progression of low vision disorders.

Below is a look at low vision disorders through the ages:

  • By age 80, more than half of all Americans have cataracts. However, the first signs of cataracts can emerge in your 40s and 50s. Routine eye exams can detect this health issue early.
  • Risk of age-related macular degeneration is commonly reported among individuals 60+, but accelerated cases are sometimes found in individuals in their 40s and 50s. Pnce diagnosed, treatment can preserve remaining vision.
  • Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the U.S. It most often occurs in people over age 40. People with a family history of glaucoma, African Americans over the age of 40, and Hispanics over the age of 60 are at an increased risk of developing this eye condition.
  • Cumulative UV damage from years of exposure can accelerate conditions like age-related macular degeneration and cataracts during older adulthood.

To safeguard your vision well into your golden years, be sure to:

  • Visit your eye doctor for annual comprehensive eye exams.
  • Be alert to how other health conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure can affect your vision.
  • Know that it’s never too late to start wearing sunglasses to protect your vision from ultraviolet rays.

How the Amsler Grid Can Help Your Diagnose Vision Loss

Posted on: August 6th, 2014 by lowvision

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss in people over the age of 60. There are approximately 15 million people who experience the condition in the United States alone. The number of cases is only expected to rise with the silver tsunami of 10,000 baby boomers that turn 65 each day.

Early diagnosis of AMD can help individuals plan for their condition and help sustain a better quality of life.

Eye doctors use the Amsler grid to help diagnose cases of AMD. This tool detects central vision problems that might be caused by damage to the macula (the central part of the retina) or the optic nerve. When looking at the black dot in Amsler grid, any changes in central vision may cause the lines in the grid to disappear or appear wavy. This is a symptom of AMD.

The grid can be used at home to keep tabs on central vision and gauge changes to eyesight and vision health.

Below are a few tips for using the Amsler grid at home:

  • Wear any glasses you would normally wear during reading.
  • View the chart at arms distance and cover one eye.
  • With the uncovered eye, focus on the dark dot in the center of the grid.
  • While looking at this dot, you still should be aware of the lines of the grid. Note if any of the lines are distorted or broken or if there are blurred areas.
  • Repeat with your other eye.
  • If you notice any blurred, wavy or missing lines, contact your eye doctor as soon as possible.

Please note, that while useful, this self-test does not take the place of regular appointments with an eye doctor.