IN Ross Township Winter 2021 - Page 25

a comprehensive eye exam . Although you may think you are seeing fine , issues may be lurking without any warning signs . During a yearly visit , your pupils will be dilated , or widened , so that your eye care professional can examine the back of the eye for damage or disease . It is important to know your family ’ s eye health history as well , since some conditions are hereditary . Some of the most common eye diseases include diabetic retinopathy , glaucoma , cataracts , and agerelated macular degeneration ( AMD ).
• Diabetic Retinopathy : This type 1 or type 2 diabetes complication is caused by damage to blood vessels in the retina , the light-sensitive tissues in the back of the eye . If left untreated , diabetic retinopathy could cause blindness . Early stages of this condition may go unnoticed if an eye care professional is not visited yearly . As the condition progresses , symptoms may include blurred vision , impaired color vision , floaters , and / or dark areas in your vision . Symptoms may occur if there is too much sugar in your blood , which can cause a blockage in the blood vessels that lead to the retina . Proper management of diabetes is the best way to prevent vision loss .
• Glaucoma : The second leading cause of blindness , glaucoma is a group of diseases that damage the eye ’ s optic nerve . The risk of developing glaucoma increases with age and if parents or siblings have the disease . During an eye exam , glaucoma can be detected by measuring eye pressure , inspecting the drainage angle of the eye , evaluating the health of the optic nerve and testing the visual field of each eye . Depending on the type and severity of the disease , glaucoma can be treated through eye drops , medication or surgery .
• Cataracts : A cataract affects vision by clouding the lens of the eye . Chances of cataracts increase greatly with age , with more than half of all Americans either having a cataract or having had cataract surgery by the age of 80 . People in their 40s and 50s can have cataracts , but they are typically small and do not affect vision . Cataracts are detected by blurred vision , faded colors , glare from headlights or lamps , poor night vision , double vision , or frequent prescription changes
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