Vision Health

Our eyes literally are our windows to the world. Healthy eyes and clear vision are priceless, enabling us to perform so many of our everyday responsibilities and allowing us to fully enjoy our beautiful world, our friends and family. Unfortunately, there are a number of disorders of vision that can develop, particularly as we age . . .

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These include cataracts, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and general decline of visual acuity (clear vision).

A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects vision. Most cataracts are related to aging, and are very common in older people. The lens is a clear part of the eye that helps to focus light, or an image, on the retina. The retina is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. The lens must be clear for the retina to receive a sharp image. If the lens is cloudy from a cataract, the image you see will be blurred.

Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease and a leading cause of blindness in American adults. It is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina. In some people with diabetic retinopathy, blood vessels may swell and leak fluid. In other people, abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina. A healthy retina is necessary for good vision. Over time, diabetic retinopathy can get worse and cause vision loss.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease associated with aging that gradually destroys sharp, central vision. Central vision is needed for seeing objects clearly and for common daily tasks such as reading and driving. AMD affects the macula, the part of the eye that allows you to see fine detail. In some cases, AMD advances so slowly that people notice little change in their vision. In others, the disease progresses faster and may lead to a loss of vision in both eyes. AMD is a leading cause of vision loss in Americans 60 years of age and older.