Protect your vision with an eye exam

Protect your vision with an eye exam

More than 4.2 million Americans age 40 and older are either legally blind or have low vision, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some of the leading causes of blindness and low vision include the following:

Glaucoma is a group of conditions that can damage the eye’s optic nerve, which transports visual information from the eye to the brain. The result can be vision loss or blindness.

In many cases, the cause of glaucoma is unknown. However, increased eye pressure is the most common risk factor for developing glaucoma. The pressure comes when the clear fluid in the eye does not drain properly.

Unfortunately, vision loss caused by glaucoma cannot be restored. However, treatment can reduce the chances of further vision loss.

Cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens, which prevents light from entering. Since many people develop cataracts as they age, many people with glaucoma also have them.

Cataract is the leading cause of blindness worldwide. It can occur at any age and can be present at birth. Most cataracts develop with aging, but can also be caused by diabetes, an eye injury, or long-term use of corticosteroid medications.

According to the National Eye Institute, cataract removal is one of the most common operations performed in the United States. It is also one of the safest and most effective types of surgery.

Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a common complication of diabetes and is the leading cause of blindness in American adults. It usually affects both eyes and can develop in anyone who has Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.

DR is caused by progressive damage to the blood vessels of the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. The risks of DR can be reduced by controlling blood sugar. Early diagnosis of DR and timely treatment reduce the risk of vision loss.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends a comprehensive eye exam for all adults starting at age 40. An exam is recommended every one to two years for individuals 65 years and older.