How Are Some Common Defects Caused?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Vision changes are one of the inevitable effects of aging - and yet deteriorating sight comes as a surprise and shock to many people.

Most of us won't escape this age-related change and many will struggle with eye diseases. Some 72 percent of U.S. adults require vision correction, according to 2006 data from the Vision Council of America.By 2020, for example, the number of people who have cataracts is expected to grow by 10 million, according to the National Eye Institute.

The first vision changes typically come in the 40s, as the lens stiffens and has trouble shifting between near and far. It's called presbyopia.

Some people may find it harder to see at a distance as the eyes adapt to demands of close-up work, such as sitting at a computer screen all day.

At this stage, there is an easy fix: reading or distance glasses. It may be helpful, too, to take frequent breaks from reading or computer work and to sit farther away from a computer screen.

There also are two surgical options: Implantable lenses, a relatively new and expensive alternative with unknown long-term implications; or, LASIK eye surgery.

LASIK surgery doesn't fix focusing problems. Instead, it gets around the problem by creating monovision - giving you near vision in one eye and distance vision in the other.

Some people may have trouble adjusting to monovision, which can affect depth perception and ability to see in low light. And some people find they still need reading glasses. A doctor may ask to you to experiment with contact lenses before proceeding with the surgery.

Expert says, LASIK for the treatment of myopia is very successful in people with low to moderate myopia and normal corneal thickness. But, LASIK surgery for the correction of presbyopia is not a very good option and not generally recommended.

Expert says that aside from presbyopia, many people will have healthy eyes throughout their lives.

Still, millions will find themselves battling eye problems as they age, the first problems typically surfacing between the ages of 40 and 60.

Cataracts, which cause the lens to become hard and cloudy, are "very much age dependent. Environmental changes, such as using brighter lighting, and glasses may help; surgery to replace the lens may be necessary.

Age-related macular degeneration, which causes the retina to deteriorate, typically appears around age 60 and is signaled by difficulty seeing things at the center of the field of vision.

Another condition that may surface with age: glaucoma, in which pressure increases inside the eye and damages the optic nerve. Glaucoma often develops without any symptoms, although loss of peripheral vision can be a clue something is amiss.

Experts says there are things you can do to maintain good eyesight as you age. At the top of the list: quit smoking. A healthy diet, regular exercise and use of sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat when in bright sunlight also are recommended. You also may need to increase the lighting in your home, particularly in areas where you work or read.



(Click on the image to view full size)

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP