Vision Health

Vision is one of our chief senses, but millions of people have problems with their vision every year—and some of these problems can cause permanent vision loss of even blindness. Early detection of these most common eye diseases and conditions, especially those that are age-related, gives patients much higher chances of retaining their vision. As we age, the risk of developing certain age-related eye diseases and conditions rises—but many can be found early through screening, so the more aware you are, the better! The following are the most prevalent eye diseases and conditions:

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Vision Health

Abnormal “Binocular Vision” as We Age

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Abnormal “binocular vision”, which involves the way our eyes work together as a team, increases dramatically as we age, according to research from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. A release from the university reports that the study also found that general health and antidepressant use are also linked to this disorder, which affects depth perception and therefore may increase the risk of falls.

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Vision Health

Protect Your Eyes During Exercise

Posted by Jane Farrell

For many of us, the warmer seasons mean more exercise. And you’re probably taking several safety factors into account: how to protect yourself from dehydration or the sun’s damaging and even deadly rays. We should think about our sight as well. According to the National Institutes of Health, emergency room doctors treated an estimated 42,000 sports-related eye injuries each year. And 90 percent of them, the NIH says, could have been prevented with protective eyewear.

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Vision Health

Folate May Lower Glaucoma Risk

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Exfoliation glaucoma (EG), caused by exfoliation syndrome, a condition in which white clumps of fibrillar material form in the eye, is the most common cause of secondary open-angle glaucoma and a leading cause of blindness and visual impairment. Elevated levels of homocysteine, a non-protein a-amino acid, may increase exfoliation material formation. Research studies have demonstrated that high intake of vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and folate is associated with lower homocysteine levels.

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Vision Health

Hope for New Tx for Retinal Blindness

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A report published online in in March 2014 in The FASEB Journal may lead the way toward new treatments or a cure for a common cause of blindness called proliferative retinopathies. Scientists at Harvard Medical Schools have shown that the body's innate immune system does more than help ward off external pathogens. It also helps remove sight-robbing abnormal blood vessels, while leaving healthy cells and tissue intact. This discovery is significant because the retina is part of the central nervous system and its cells cannot be replaced once lost.

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Vision Health

Exercise & Light Drinking = Better Vision

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Get moving and raise a glass now and then if you want to stave off the kind of vision problems that can’t be corrected with lenses. That’s what the results of a study done at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health suggest. The team found that a physically active lifestyle and occasional drinking are associated with a reduced risk of developing visual impairment. The article was published online in March 2014 in Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.  

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Vision Health

Goodbye to Reading Glasses?

Posted by Jane Farrell

A new finding by researchers could help improve vision for adults who are lost without their reading glasses. Middle-aged people who suddenly need reading glasses, patients with traumatic brain injuries, and people with visual disorders such as "lazy eye" likely have one thing in common — "visual crowding." That’s the inability to recognize individual items surrounded by multiple objects.

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Vision Health

Color Vision Problems as We Age

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Abnormal color vision increases significantly with aging and affects 50% or more of people in the oldest age groups, according to a study done at The Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute in San Francisco and published in the journal Optometry and Vision Science.

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Vision Health

Training Can Improve Vision

Posted by Sondra Forsyth Sondra Forsyth

With a little practice on a computer or tablet — 25 minutes a day, four days a week, for two months — our brains can actually learn to see better. That is the encouraging finding of research done at the University of California, Riverside and published in the journal Current Biology. Although the team did the training with baseball players at the university who had normal vision, the hope is that the same training, called perceptual learning, will help people with low vision due to cataracts, macular degeneration, or amblyopia.

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Vision Health

Glaucoma & a Recently Discovered Eye Layer

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A layer in the human cornea recently discovered by researchers at The University of Nottingham in the UK turns out to play a vital role in the structure of the tissue that controls the flow of fluid from the eye. The findings could shed new light on glaucoma, a devastating disease caused by defective drainage of fluid from the eye and the world's second leading cause of blindness. The paper was published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology,

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Vision Health

Exercise Could Help with Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Posted by Jane Farrell

Here’s an additional benefit of being active: Moderate aerobic exercise could help slow the progression of retinal degenerative diseases, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The results of the animal study were published in The Journal of Neuroscience. One of the leading causes of blindness in older people, AMD is caused by the death of light-sensing nerve cells in the retina called photoreceptors.

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Glaucoma
Senior Health
Vision Health

What You Must Know About Glaucoma

Posted by Sondra Forsyth Sondra Forsyth

By Sondra Forsyth In April of 2013, I went for my annual eye exam. I’ve worn glasses or contacts for distance correction ever since elementary school but over the years, other than the usual age-related need for “readers”, I’ve never had any vision problems. This time, though, I saw a look of concern flash across the optometrist’s face when she did the test for ocular pressure. “Is something wrong?” I asked.

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Vision Health

Brain Hot Spots for Post-Stroke Vision Recovery

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Research done in Germany and published in the journal Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience suggests that vision restoration after a stroke depends mostly on activity of residual vision that is still left after the injury. The study showed that both local neuronal activity and activity in the immediate surrounding area influence the development of visual recovery "hot spots." The team maintains that this is evidence that recovery of vision is mediated by partially surviving neurons.