Cataracts, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, retinopathy … the eye can be affected by serious and often degenerative diseases. They can cause further decline in visual acuity and a decreased field of vision. Some can lead to blindness. Anyone can suffer from low vision at any age but the prevalence is higher among the elderly. ‘Low vision’, is the term used for moderate or severe visual impairment that cannot be improved by medication, glasses, contact lenses or surgery.
Eye diseases: what consequences?
These diseases affect the central or peripheral vision or both:
– Impairment of central vision causes difficulties in reading, writing, precision work, recognizing colors or faces. AMD is the most common cause,
– impairment of peripheral vision causes difficulty moving around without bumping into objects because the field of vision is reduced as though the person is looking through a tunnel. Advanced glaucoma and retinitis pigmentosa can be the cause,
– overall vision impairment that features visual disorders like those of the two conditions mentioned above. Diabetic retinopathy and cataracts are the most common causes.
It is absolutely essential, particularly from the age of 50, to have regular eye examinations with an ophthalmologist / optometrist to detect the appearance of any symptoms.
A cataract is a vision disorder that occurs when the crystalline lens loses its transparency. It causes partial or total clouding of the lens. It’s one of the leading causes of low vision across the globe.
Age-related macular degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects the central part of the retina. This degenerative disease usually appears after the age of 50. It is the leading cause of visual impairment in Western countries and affects 1 in 4 people aged over 75 and more than half aged over 90.
Glaucoma is an eye disease that can lead to blindness. It’s an insidious disease because it doesn’t cause pain or blurred vision until an advanced stage. As a result it is essential to have regular medical examinations from the age of 50 in order to detect it.
This term applies to any damage to the blood vessels of the retina. An eye examination at the back of the eye enables a medical professional to look carefully at a sample of blood vessels and detect early signs of complications linked to diabetes or high blood pressure and other conditions. This eye disease comes in two forms: diabetic retinopathy and retinitis pigmentosa.