Our body, aging, gradually faces various problems – including visual impairment.
This problem is faced by almost everyone after 40 years. What awaits our eyes after forty years? Can eye diseases be prevented? How does modern ophthalmology cope with various diseases? These questions are answered by Anastasia Anikeeva, ophthalmologist of eye clinics “Clear Vision”.
GLAUCOMA – RISK OF BLINDING
Let's start right away with a very complex, almost non-manifesting disease – glaucoma. It occurs due to increased eye pressure – it leads to atrophy of the optic nerve, to a decrease in visual acuity and, as a result, blindness.
After 35-40 years, it is necessary to undergo an examination by an ophthalmologist once a year, which includes the measurement of intraocular pressure. It is by its increase that glaucoma can be diagnosed – otherwise the person does not experience either pain or discomfort.
Unfortunately, modern medicine cannot cure glaucoma yet – but the sooner treatment is started, the longer the patient will maintain good vision. Doctors prescribe regular instillation, which reduces intraocular pressure. If this measure is ineffective, the ophthalmosurgeon performs an operation that improves the outflow of intraocular fluid.
Particularly at risk for glaucoma are:
people with a similar diagnosis to relatives
people with diseases of the cardiovascular system and diabetes,
with high myopia or farsightedness,
after injuries or eye surgery,
with prolonged use of hormonal drugs.
Cataract, i.e. clouding of the lens, may develop after 50-55 years. Sometimes this process is rapid, and the lens becomes cloudy very quickly, and sometimes the initial stage is delayed for a very long time and does not particularly interfere with life. In any case, this leads to a decrease in visual acuity, which requires certain measures.
The first of these is vitamin drops that slow down the clouding of the lens. But they cannot stop him. If visual acuity has significantly decreased, the doctor recommends an operation to replace a clouded lens with an artificial transparent. It is a fairly simple surgical operation, takes little time, and the effect is actually lifelong.
This is senile farsightedness, one of the most frequent and known visual impairments. Its cause is a decrease in the elasticity of the lens and partial atrophy of the ciliary muscle, which regulates its curvature. For far-sighted people, this process begins earlier, for nearsighted people a little later, but this cannot be avoided. Exercise can temporarily slow down the development of a violation, but do not give a lasting effect.
The first symptoms are difficulties with reading a small text – a person is trying to move it away from the face. The appearance of a veil in front of the eyes is also likely with visual stress, increased fatigue, and headache. Correct the case can spectacle, lens or laser correction.
Age-related macular degeneration
Dystrophy of the retinal cells in the central region, responsible for high visual acuity, also leads to visual impairment. At risk:
elderly people, especially with diseases of the cardiovascular system,
smokers who suffer from it twice as often
people with adverse heredity for AMD.
The main symptoms are decreased visual acuity, distortion of straight lines. Ophthalmologists have a special test for macular degeneration: they show the patient a lattice pattern and ask if there are any curvature of the lines. If the patient answers “Yes”, then he has macular edema, which often occurs with this disease.
Depending on the form of the disease, the doctor prescribes pills or injections, and often it is possible to achieve a very stable remission.
RISK FACTORS AND FIGHTING METHODS – IS OR NO?
Alas, even modern ophthalmology, armed with many high-tech tools, the latest drugs and techniques, is not able to prevent the process of age-related visual impairment or somehow slow it down. Doctors can cope with diseases that come after 40 years, but to make the patient see at 40-50 years old as at 25 – no.
It has also become clear now – the intensity of the visual load practically does not affect the occurrence of visual impairment or the development of diseases. They are equally likely to occur with a high visual load (active work at the computer, watching videos, reading from the screen), and with minimal.
Risk groups include people who eat improperly, move a little, do not play sports – a lifestyle greatly affects the appearance of visual impairment. This is especially true taking into account the fact that inactivity of citizens has become one of the most acute problems, which leads to obesity, diseases of the heart, joints, gastrointestinal tract, etc.
Also, there is an increased risk of eye problems in people with a number of diseases – arterial hypertension, diabetes mellitus, etc. Age-related visual impairment in such patients is more acute.
Finally, the third risk group is formed due to some professions: for example, radiation cataract can occur at an earlier age in people who worked with ionizing radiation.
The main way to postpone age-related eye problems is a healthy lifestyle, that is, proper nutrition, physical activity, as well as regular preventive examinations by an ophthalmologist to identify disorders in the early stages and prevent their transition to complicated forms.