Several diseases and conditions can affect vision

Dr. Dixon would you be able to tell us what some common age-related eye ailments are? The commonest thing would be cataract. If you age long enough, you’re going to have a cataract. They may be mild with no symptoms, they may
be moderate, they could be quite severe. They’re probably still one of the commonest
causes of blindness throughout the world as we know. Fortunately in North America
we have the luxury of getting treated and it’s not a major problem. That’s probably the commonest. The next commonest would be age-related macular
degenerative changes where you have an aging process going on in the central part of your
retina where you can no longer process the information
coming to your eye and you get a blurred image in the middle
of what you’re looking at. And a third concern would be glaucoma where you have pressure that the eye cannot withstand and it puts pressure
on the optic nerve that damages the sight. That often has no symptoms at all and it’s discovered on a routine eye exam. The predisposing features are family history of the same process of
glaucoma. Some diseases are associated with glaucoma
more frequently and sometimes your background of origin
as significant as well. Some ethnic groups are more prone to getting glaucoma
than others. Other than diabetes, what diseases might predispose someone to glaucoma. Injury would be probably one of the commoner ones. Industrial injury, home injuries. Cataract again can be associated with it, but diabetes would be a predisposing feature as well, should be screened as well. What are some signs and symptoms of age-related macular degeneration? Usually patients notice that they are having
trouble focusing so as I am looking right at your face I might notice that your nose
is blurry, or that your ears are blurry. Or I’m trying to read a paragraph and the middle piece of the word is missing. These would probably be the commonest first presenting features. What are signs and symptoms of cataracts? Generally there are very few symptoms. Patients get a generalized decrease in their colour discrimination in what they can see clearly and it comes on so slowly they may not know they have it and often their
first clue is that they fail a driving test. Or they go to match their outfit to go out for
the day and they find they’ve got a black skirt and a navy blue sweater and their children say ‘you used to be fashionable, what’s changed?’ and they say ‘well I thought they were both navy blue.’ What are some general tips to keep our eyes healthy? First biggest would be to stop smoking. Smoking damages the retina we know that predisposes us to macular degeneration. It enhances the onset of cataract. So two extra good reasons besides your general health
to give up smoking. Adequate intake of green leafy vegetables
like our parents used to tell us to eat are very important. They again documented that macular degeneration
pro-gross chin may be slowed if eat your veggies and having routine checkups particularly if you have
a family history of eye disease is important if you’ve got glaucoma in your
family if you have somebody with cataracts, macular degeneration
it would be worth definitely having your eyes checked, certainly by the time you’re 45 or 50. If you have diabetes there’s a routine for getting
them checked routinely every year or every two years depending on
the type of diabetes that you have. So those are the main features. Where might somebody find out more information
about eye health in general especially these topics that we’ve covered. Well a lot of offices have information pamphlets available. We’re offering anybody wants to come to
our forum on the 17th of October information about the three main features that’s macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts,
were gonna cover those topics. People are welcome to attend free of charge. We’ll have some information available. They
can contact the CNIB who’ve just produced a wonderful pamphlet, that’s really a book, that we hope they’ll have on line by the time
our conference comes and they can access general information
questions about eye conditions of any kind that they’d like to access.


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