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The Ezra Home Care Blog

Home Health Care Tip: Don't Skimp on Eye Care

Aug 22, 2012 |
Posted by Jessica Zelfand |

Boston.com picture Dr. Hunter resized 600

According to the CDC, 61 million Americans are at high risk of losing their eyesight, yet only half that number saw an eye doctor in the previous year. Why?

Well, many people equate the health of their eyes with their ability to see. If they don't have vision problems now, or they have glasses that correct their vision, they often believe that their eyes are doing just fine.The scary thing is, blinding diseases often don't have any noticeable symptoms until after the disease has progressed to a point where the damage is irreversible. Caught early, however, many eye diseases can be treated before they do permanent harm. We encourage everyone, to make an eye exam appointment today and click on 5 Tips to save on Eye Exams, Glasses and Contacts.

Top Causes of Blindness:

Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness in American adults. It is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina. In some people with diabetic retinopathy, retinal blood vessels may swell and leak fluid. In other people, abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina. These changes may result in vision loss or blindness.

Macular degeneration affects the retina in two forms – dry and wet AMD. The dry form of AMD is more common, and is generally not associated with severe loss of vision. It is characterized by the presence of small, yellowish deposits under the retina, called drusen. Wet, or neovascular AMD, is frequently accompanied by relatively sudden loss of vision. This is caused by the growth of abnormal blood vessels underneath the retina that leak fluid or blood. Recent advances in the treatment of wet AMD can now prevent further loss of vision, or even restore vision in some cases, if treatment is sought promptly.

As the early form of macular degeneration does not cause any visual symptoms, if you are age 50 or older, a complete eye examination by an ophthalmologist is recommended on an annual basis to look for signs of the disease, particularly if there is any history of macular degeneration in your family.

If you have the early form of AMD, studies have shown that you can reduce your chances of loss of vision by not smoking, maintaining a healthy diet including fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants, and working with your doctors to control your blood pressure and lipids.

Glaucoma - Glaucoma refers to a group of eye conditions that lead to damage to the optic nerve. This nerve carries visual information from the eye to the brain. In most cases, damage to the optic nerve is due to increased pressure in the eye, also known as intraocular pressure (IOP).Glaucoma is the second most common cause of blindness in the United States

Good, reliable home care service can help people with vision loss live with dignity and help prevent falls.

References:

http://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/basic_information/eye_disorders.htm
http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/ss/slideshow-healthier-eyes
http://masseyeandear.reachlocal.net/for-patients/patient-guide/patient-education/diseases-and-conditions/diabetic-retinopathy/

Picture credit: http://www.boston.com/business/technology/articles/2012/03/04/incubating_ideas_from_rank_and_file/

TAGS: Elder Care

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Jessica Zelfand

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