The human body changes with age, increasing the risk for certain ocular and systemic problems. If you are caring for an elderly family member, it is important to make annual eye exams a priority to preserve vision. Here are some of the most common and dangerous ocular conditions among the elderly:
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
The macula is the part of the back of the eye that is responsible for central vision. The macula is also responsible for sharp vision. Age-related macular degeneration, known as AMD or ARMD for short, threatens to destroy the function of central vision. ARMD is a silent and often gradual disease, which means that regular eye exams are the only way to detect the disease in a timely manner.
Diabetic and Hypertensive Retinopathies
Both of these serious ocular conditions develop as a result of poorly controlled systemic conditions and can result in permanent visual damage.
Commonly known as shingles, this condition carries the risk of several ocular sequelae. If your loved one is suffering from Shingles, it is important to pay a visit to your eye care professional.
As the eye changes, the gel-like vitreous becomes more liquid. In some cases, the vitreous will detach and put pressure on the nearby retina. The most common symptoms of a retinal detachment are flashes of lights, floaters and sudden loss of all or part of one’s vision. While some detachments are minor, others can be sight threatening.
This includes retinal and venous occlusion which are often linked to underlying medical conditions such as carotid artery stenosis and vascular changes. An occlusion can not only cause serious visual problems but can also warn of an impending stroke.
Many of the above conditions can be caught early if you know the symptoms and are ensuring that your loved one receives regular eye exams. Remember, sudden vision loss should always prompt a visit to an eye care professional.