David J. Mitchell, MD
Location and Office HoursAdi Gerblich, MD
24755 Chagrin Blvd Ste 320
Beachwood, OH 44122
- Hillcrest Hospital
- Marymount Hospital
- MetroHealth Medical Center
- St Vincent Charity Medical Center
- Tripoint Hospital
- UH Case Medical
How common are eye and vision problems in older adults?
Laura Fine, MD, Ophthalmology, answeredSerious age-related eye problems can cause vision loss or visual distortion that glasses can't fix. More than one million Americans older than 40 are considered legally blind, which means their vision is 20/200 or worse in their best eye, even with corrective lenses or surgery. Another 2.4 million have significantly reduced vision. The risk of developing vision problems increases as you get older, especially after age 65. One dramatic example: people ages 80 or older make up about 8% of the U.S. population, but account for 69% of people who are blind.
How do human eyes differ from those of most other animals?
Michael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answeredIf you look at the evolutionary anatomy of eyes, you'll notice some major differences between humans and animals.
For one, humans have their eyes set closer together than many other animals, which gives us wonderful depth perception. In exchange, we lose some of our ability to have good peripheral vision, the way cows do. (Did you ever try to sneak up on a cow? She may play it cool, but she knows you're there.) These two features give us binocular vision.
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How can retinopathy be prevented?
Retinopathy of prematurity: Pregnant mothers should visit their obstetricians regularly to ensure that they and their fetuses are in good health. Obstetricians can also make recommendations for good prenatal care.
Infants who are born at less than 36 weeks of gestation or weigh less than four pounds, six ounces at birth should be screened for retinopathy.
Diabetic retinopathy: Controlling blood sugar with medications and a proper diet may help prevent diabetic retinopathy. Yearly eye exams are recommended for diabetics. This can allow treatment to begin before symptoms are evident. Prompt treatment helps reduce the risk of permanent vision loss.
Hypertensive retinopathy: Individuals with histories of high blood pressure should regularly visit their healthcare providers and eye doctors. Patients who have high blood pressure should regularly take their blood pressure-lowering medications. Lifestyle changes, including regular exercise and a healthy, well-balanced diet may also help lower blood pressure.
Central serous retinopathy: Central serous retinopathy cannot be prevented because the cause remains unknown. In general, individuals should regularly visit their eye doctors to ensure that their eyes are in good health.
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