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Fact or Fiction: Healthy Aging, Eye Edition

Healthy Aging Eyes

As we continue to celebrate Healthy Aging Month, we’re looking at fact versus fiction when it comes to age-related eye diseases. Test your knowledge below and learn a bit more about these conditions and how you can prevent them as you age.  


Fact or Fiction:  

In early stages, Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) does not affect vision. 



While vision is not impacted at the onset of AMD, if the disease progresses symptoms can include wavy or blurred vision. If the condition worsens further, central vision may be completely lost. There are two types of AMD, dry and wet. Dry AMD affects eyes by changing the macular pigment seen during a dilated examination. Wet AMD is caused by abnormal leaky blood vessels that grow underneath the retina. AMD is the leading cause of blindness – affecting more than 10 million Americans.  

Although AMD is a chronic disease, there are treatment options! For many years there were few treatment options for patients with macular degeneration, but fortunately that is no longer the case. There are now medications that can reverse and prevent vision loss from wet AMD, and preventative strategies to slow the progression of dry AMD.  



Fact or Fiction:  

People with diabetes do not have an increased risk for vision issues.  



Diabetes is a systemic condition that affects every part of the body. It’s important for patients with diabetes to get a comprehensive eye exam every year. For those who do not have diabetes, yearly eye exams should remain a priority as they can actually help diagnose the disease.  

Having diabetes can put vision at risk, as well as lead to common eye diseases if left untreated. One eye disease is diabetic retinopathy. This is the most common diabetic eye disease and a leading cause of blindness. Caused by high levels of blood glucose, this is characterized by leaking of blood vessels in the retina. It is typically treated with laser and medication, although for particularly advanced cases surgery may be necessary.  




Fact or Fiction:  

As glaucoma progresses, it will affect vision and can cause irreversible blindness.  



What is troubling about glaucoma is it may exist without presenting any immediate or obvious symptoms. It can have drastic consequences, however, including narrowing the field of vision and blindness. Glaucoma is a group of progressive diseases in which cells and fibers of the optic nerve are damaged, affecting the transmission of signals from the eye to the brain.  

While there is no cure for glaucoma, symptoms can be treated to preserve sight and quality of life. Medical treatments include oral medication, eye drops, or surgical procedures.  




ReFocus Eye Health is committed to educating patients and providing exceptional care. Understanding the facts and fictions about common eye diseases equips you with necessary knowledge to keep top of mind, especially when it comes to staying healthy while aging.