Here at Choate Eye Associates, we always strive to provide excellent eye care for patients of all ages. We recognize, however, that the elderly have a number of eye care challenges that are unique to the aging process. This is why we take time to help the senior citizens of Goodlettsville get the vision treatments they need.
There are many different eye conditions that cause vision loss and poor eyesight. Let's take a moment to consider some of the most common vision problems that the elderly face.
Presbyopia refers to a type of farsightedness (hyperopia) that sets in during middle age (typically around 45). The condition leads to a greater difficulty to see nearby objects, such as reading material. This is an unavoidable part of the aging process, and the result of the lenses of the eyes losing flexibility.
There are a few different treatments available for presbyopia. In terms of non-surgical treatments, the most common treatments include the use of bifocals or multiple pairs of glasses. As far as surgical options, monovision LASIK can be performed to improve overall vision quality, and you can also have the rigid lenses of the eyes replaced by intraocular lenses (IOLs), which are artificial lenses that restore vision quality.
Cataracts are another common vision issue that seniors face. It refers to the clouding of the lenses of the eye, resulting in hazy or blurry vision as well as a milky appearance to the irises. The most common causes of cataracts is long-term wear and tear to the eyes caused by UV rays, though physical trauma, medications, eye surgeries, and smoking can also contribute to cataract formation.
When cataracts are minor, the most ideal treatment option for cataracts is the use of corrective lenses, which can improve vision quality and help address low vision issues. When cataracts become more serious, the most ideal option to consider is a routine cataract removal. Sometimes IOLs may also be used to replace the removed lenses.
The macular is the central portion of the retina, which is the light-sensitive tissue located at the back of the eye necessary for proper vision. With advanced age, it's possible for the macula to break down, whether the result of an accumulation of drusen around the macula (dry AMD, which is more common) or the leaking blood vessels in the retina (wet AMD).
While there is no cure for dry or wet AMD, there are a number of treatments available that can prevent further vision loss and stabilize your vision. In many cases there are vitamins and nutritional supplements that can be taken to address the condition as well as prescription medications/ Laser therapy may be recommended if non-surgical treatments are ineffective.
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of permanent vision loss in the world. The condition is causes by increase pressure within the eyes (intraocular pressure), which causes damage to the optic nerve. While glaucoma is not related to age per se, people who are at risk of glaucoma are more likely to develop glaucoma when they get older.
Glaucoma itself is an untreatable condition, but there are different treatments that can help reduce intraocular pressure and slow the progress of further vision loss. Initially, patients may take different kinds of medications in eyedrop and pill form that can reduce pressure inside of the eyes. Surgical treatments to promote drainage and reduced eye pressure are also options to consider.
For more information about the eye care needs of senior citizens, be sure to contact our team of eye care specialists today. The team here at Choate Eye Associates can help you have excellent vision in your golden years.