The incidence of glaucoma is increasing rapidly due to the aging of the population. Fortunately, glaucoma is easily detected by having annual eye examinations, and early intervention usually results in a lifetime of good vision. Current technology has made it easier than ever to discover signs of the disease at its earliest stages. Newer non-invasive scanning devices find even the slightest glaucoma-induced thinning of nerve fibers within the eye well before vision is compromised.
As Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in people over age 60, it is crucial to have regular eye exams to check for signs. There are two main types of ARMD – wet and dry. A patient can have ARMD without knowing, but eye exams can easily find it. There are currently no effective treatments other than supplements and lifestyle changes, but research is moving rapidly to find ways to control progression.
A clouding of the eye’s own internal crystalline lens, a cataract is most commonly a result of aging. Other risk factors are long-term topical or systemic use of steroids, eye trauma, certain eye surgeries and having diabetes. A family history of early cataract formation also increases the chances of cataract at a younger age than average. Cataract surgery is painless and fast, so most patients go home immediately afterwards and see well the next day.