My patients often ask: “Doctor, what can I do to save or preserve vision for myself and my family?”
Prevention: Wear sunglasses! Over time, sunlight damages the lens of the eye, causing cataracts. More Medicare dollars are spent for lens replacements than for any other kind of surgery. The average age for cataract surgery is 72. Sunglasses slow the development of cataracts, and that goes for kids, too. Prevention and treatment of visual problems in childhood results in improved vision throughout life. Don’t smoke. Smoking makes you four times more likely to develop cataracts. Exercise and a healthy diet are important, too.
Early Detection: Get regular eye exams! We seniors may develop disorders like age-
“Wet”(bleeding) AMD occurs in 15 percent of patients. Treatment calls for injections into the eye every four to six weeks — probably for life.
People with diabetes suffer bleeding and swelling of the retina, inside the eye. Anyone may develop glaucoma, or “hard eyeball disease,” which is treated with eye drops and lasers. The earlier you seek treatment the better. Getting checkups can help save your vision.