Age-Related Macular Degeneration
The most common vision condition that older adults experience is age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is a disease that blurs the sharp, central vision you need for "straight-ahead" activities such as reading, sewing, and driving. AMD affects the macula, the part of the eye that allows you to see fine detail.People with AMD may be prompted by their physician to stop driving, or at least to refrain from driving at night—depending on the severity of the condition.
Cataracts are another vision-related problem that many older Americans experience. A cataract is a clouding of the eye's lens, which blocks or changes the passage of light into the eye. The lens of the eye is located behind the pupil and the colored iris, and is normally transparent. The lens helps to focus images onto the retina-which transmits the images to the brain.
Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes loss of sight by damaging a part of the eye called the optic nerve. When glaucoma damages this nerve patches of side vision (peripheral vision) may be lost. Over time, glaucoma may also damage straight-ahead (central) vision. Many other vision or eye conditions exist. Be sure to speak with your doctor or opthalmologist for more information.
One in three people older than 60, and half of those older than 85, have hearing loss. Hearing loss may make conversations difficult, make driving dangerous, and may make it impossible for your loved one to hear over the phone. Hearing loss may also prevent your loved one from understanding a physician’s instructions, or hearing the honk of a horn as he/she crosses the street. As a result, hearing loss is not only frustrating, it is dangerous.
If you notice any symptoms of hearing or vision loss, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
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