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How to Keep Eyes Healthy for a Lifetime

Risk for many eye conditions increases with age

It’s September, and we are here for it! Pumpkin spice lattes, football and (slightly) cooler breezes. Let’s go, September! In addition, it’s also Healthy Aging Month. And to bring attention to the importance of caring for aging eyes, Mann Eye Institute is collaborating with the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Together, we are raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of age-related vision loss and offer tips to help seniors take care of their sight.

We know that the risk of developing many eye diseases and conditions increases with age, yet many older Americans don’t see an eye doctor regularly. That needs to change, and we hope this spotlight on the vision conditions that we see more commonly in aging eyes will help the seniors of Texas to See Life Better.

Which Vision Conditions are Related to Age?

There are many eye diseases and conditions that have greater potential for affecting your quality of life as you grow older. They include:

Presbyopia

If you are in your 40s or 50s, you may have noticed your vision changing, and not for the better! Hello, reading glasses. Readers in the car, at your desk, in your purse, on your nightstand. Readers everywhere! It’s called Presbyopia and can best be described as Over-40 vision.

Reading glasses are a temporary fix and not a great long-term solution. But, no worries. We have several treatments to address and correct your reading vision woes. Depending on your unique vision, lifestyle and goals, our skilled physicians will discuss your options with you. They include procedures like LASIK (blended vision/monovision) or a Refractive Lens Exchange.

Cataracts

A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens that blocks the lens from being able to focus light on the retina. Cataracts are a leading cause of blindness among older adults in the United States. Today, cataracts affect more than 24 million Americans aged 40 and older. Additionally, more than half of all Americans will have cataracts by the time they are 80 years old.*

We can’t treat cataracts with medication and they will not get better on their own. They must be surgically removed for vision to be restored. More than 2 million men and women undergo cataract surgery every year, and surgeons perform these procedures without complication in over 95% of cases*. This makes cataract surgery one of the most common and successful medical procedures in the U.S. today. The board-certified surgeons at Mann Eye Institute are among the most experienced cataract surgeons in the country.

If cataract surgery is on the horizon for you, we’d love to let you know about our Active Life Lenses. These advanced lenses offer you the opportunity to enjoy reduced dependency on glasses and readers after cataract surgery. Bye-bye, aging eyes!

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world today. With AMD, the central portion of your retina (called the macula) deteriorates. As a result, it affects central vision and negatively impacts everyday activities like reading, driving and recognizing faces.

Millions of Americans are diagnosed with AMD each year. For this reason, a visit with our retina expert is the right place to start if you are concerned about this condition. Today, there is no cure for macular degeneration. The goal of treatment is to slow down the disease and stabilize it so you do not lose your vision. Our specialists can guide you through managing this sight-stealing condition.

Diabetic Retinopathy

If you have diabetes, you risk developing an eye condition called diabetic retinopathy. This is when high blood sugar levels damage the blood vessels in the retina. These blood vessels can swell and leak, or they can close, stopping blood from passing through. All of these changes can result in vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy typically develops without early warning signs. Eye damage can occur slowly and is hard to detect without regular and accurate monitoring.

Treatment will vary depending on the extent of the disease, but can include medical management, injections, laser treatments and a procedure called vitrectomy. If you are concerned about any diabetes-related eye problems, our experienced retina specialist, Dr. Mohsenin, will be happy to discuss potential solutions and develop an individual treatment plan for you.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye condition associated with pressure inside the eye (intraocular pressure). The condition damages the optic nerve and can lead to blindness. Glaucoma affects two million Americans, and half of those people don’t know they even have the disease. Glaucoma can run in families.

For this reason, Mann Eye Institute puts great emphasis on early detection. In fact, every person over the age of 40 should have a comprehensive eye exam once a year, where they will be screened for glaucoma. There’s no cure for glaucoma, but early treatment can often stop the damage and protect your vision.

Let Mann Eye Care for Your Aging Eyes

Pro tip: don’t skip your annual sight-saving exam! Annual comprehensive eye exams are so important because they can reveal hidden signs of disease, allowing for more timely treatment. This is why we recommend that adults have them annually or more often as recommended by their ophthalmologist, a physician who specializes in medical and surgical eye care.

“Life is a series of tiny moments, and our goal at Mann Eye is for you to enjoy every single one of them with the clear vision you deserve. Whether it’s Advanced LASIK, treating over-40 vision, laser cataract surgery or the perfect pair of glasses, we’re here to help.”

Paul Mann, MD, board-certified ophthalmologist at Mann Eye Institute

At Mann Eye Institute, we want all of our patients to enjoy a high quality of life in every season, and that includes your golden years! Our team of eye experts has extensive experience in diagnosing and managing many age-related eye conditions. Schedule your comprehensive eye exam today to keep your eyes healthy for a lifetime.

*Information sourced from Prevent Blindness America

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