The gift of eyesight is precious and must be safeguarded through routine eye checks. Many eye diseases, if diagnosed promptly, can be treated effectively. Ophthalmic disorders that can occur during later in life are presbyopia, age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a multifactor disease causing functional alteration of the central region of the retina (the macula) and is the major cause of vision loss in Western countries. An examination by an eye doctor is not always sufficient to properly evaluate the disease, but the ophthalmologist will prescribe the necessary instrumental examinations to confirm the diagnosis. So far the therapeutic options are varied (photodynamic therapy, intravitreal injections of triamcinolone or anti-angiogenetici), but the results are still modest.

Cataracts are a pathological alteration of the lens: it creates a barrier that allows little light to enter eye, thus decreasing vision. This eye condition is common among older people and often begins to manifest itself between the age of 40 and 50. Cataracts do not always cause pain or inflammation and may mature over several years. The first symptoms are blurry vision and the appearance of small dark spots in the field of sight, from the periphery to the center of the lens. It may cause the perception of split vision or discomfort in bright environments. If cataracts are diagnosed early, they can be treated with simple surgery in a few days.

A third vision impairment that is related to age is presbyopia, though it is generally not as serious as cataracts or AMD. The most recognizable signs of presbyopia are exhaustion, headache, and eye fatigue, when reading or observing close objects. Presbyopia is a natural eye condition related to age: it is caused by the gradual loss of flexibility of the central muscles of the lens, resulting in difficulty in focusing on near objects.

To correct presbyopia, you can choose between regular glasses or contact lenses, bifocal or progressive. The most widely prescribed bifocal or progressive lenses are made by Acuvue. Regarding glasses most people with presbyopia choose reading glasses to correct vision impairment only when absolutely necessary. Others also correct presbyopia with monovision, using one eye to focus on distant objects and the other one for near. The brain learns to favor one eye rather than the other depending on the tasks, but not all people are able to adapt to this solution. Contact lenses require periodic inspections necessary to verify the status of vision and eye health, as presbyopia tends to deteriorate gradually.

Making regular eye checks is recommended to prevent and correct age-related vision defects such as AMD, cataracts and presbyopia. Please visit your nearest eye doctor for more information on these and other eye conditions.

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Making regular eye checks is recommended to prevent and correct age-related vision defects such as AMD, cataracts and presbyopia. Please visit your nearest eye doctor for more information on these and other eye conditions.