Common Causes of Vision Loss in Elderly Patients

Vision loss among the elderly is a major health care problem. Approximately one person in three has some form of vision-reducing eye disease by the age of 65. The most common causes of vision loss among the elderly are age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataract and diabetic retinopathy.

Age-related macular degeneration is characterized by the loss of central vision. Primary open-angle glaucoma results in optic nerve damage and visual field loss. Because this condition may initially be asymptomatic, regular screening examinations are recommended for elderly patients. Cataract is a common cause of vision impairment among the elderly, but surgery is often effective in restoring vision. Diabetic retinopathy may be observed in the elderly at the time of diagnosis or during the first few years of diabetes. Patients should undergo eye examinations with dilation when diabetes is diagnosed and annually thereafter.

Date: 07/01/2009
Author: DAVID A. QUILLEN
Organization: American Academy of Family Physicians
Reference: http://www.aafp.org/afp/1999/0701/p99.html
Only for Members: No
Content type: Good practises
Tags: eye diseases, eye, glaucoma, blindness, ophthalmology, sensory disabilities
Categories: Medical & Functions