Age-Related Eye Disease
There are four major age-related eye diseases:
- Macular Degeneration
- Diabetic Retinopathy
These diseases can creep up during your senior years, threatening your vision. People ages 65 and older are at greater risk for these diseases. Dr. Marvelli, a board certified ophthalmologist, can evaluate you for all four of these diseases at any of his three locations, Hurst, Mansfield or Ft. Worth, Texas.
Glaucoma is a group of optic nerve diseases involving loss of retinal ganglian that can reduce vision without warning or symptoms. With glaucoma the loss of peripheral vision often occurs gradually over a long period of time, and may only be recognized when it is already quite advanced. Once lost, this damaged peripheral vision can never be recovered. Over three million Americans have glaucoma, but only half of them know it. Until a cure is found, medication and surgery can effectively stop or slow the progression of the disease.
Who is a good candidate for glaucoma surgery?
People whose symptoms cannot be controlled with medications or people with closed angle glaucoma may be good candidates for glaucoma surgery.
How do glaucoma eye drops work?
Glaucoma eye drops reduce the amount of pressure in the eye. Depending on the drop, they either slow the production of fluid in the eye or increase the amount of fluid that is drained from the eye. Eye drops are typically used until such time as a surgical treatment can be performed.
How can glaucoma be prevented?
While there is no known way to prevent glaucoma, eye damage caused by glaucoma can be prevented through early detection. This is why it is so important to undergo regular eye exams with glaucoma checks. Additionally, studies have shown that people who exercise regularly are less likely to have issues with intraocular pressure.
How long does it take to go blind from glaucoma?
If left untreated, glaucoma can cause blindness in about 15 years. However, with the treatment options available, most glaucoma patients are able to maintain their vision. Some loss in sight is more common, but only occurs in about 10% of glaucoma patients. While it is possible to go blind even with the best quality treatment, it is very rare.
A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects vision. To the patient, it is like looking through a fogged-up window. Most cataracts are the result of aging. By age 80, more than half of all Americans either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery. Visit our Cataract Surgery page for more information
Macular degeneration causes the loss of sharp central vision. It occurs with degeneration of the macula, which is part of the retina. Central vision is necessary to read or drive. Age-related macular degeneration often begins with characteristic yellow deposits in the macula called drusen. Research suggests that large and soft drusen are related to elevated cholesterol deposits. Until recently, no effective treatments were known for wet macular degeneration. However, new drugs, called anti-angiogenics can be injected directly into the vitreous humor of the eye using a small, painless needle, and can cause regression of the abnormal blood vessels and improvement of vision. The injections frequently have to be repeated on a monthly or bi-monthly basis to control the macular degeneration.
What is the cause of macular degeneration?
The exact cause of macular degeneration is unknown. However, lifestyle factors like smoking and a lack of exercise are known to increase the risk of developing macular degeneration. Obesity and high blood pressure also increase this risk.
Is macular degeneration curable?
While there is no definitive cure for macular degeneration, there are treatments available to treat the disease and prevent severe blindness. Treatments range from vitamins to laser surgery, so if you are suffering from macular degeneration, contact us to schedule a consultation to explore an individualized treatment plan with our doctors.
What can I do to manage macular degeneration?
A healthy diet has shown to be helpful in both preventing and managing macular degeneration. Choose fruits and veggies that are high in antioxidants. These protect against oxidation, which plays a key role in the process of macular degeneration. Also, avoid smoking, which reduces blood supply to the eyes. Talk to your doctor about vitamins and supplements that may slow down the progression of macular degeneration.