In most situations, there are no early signs. These conditions, however, can be detected through a dilated eye exam.
According to the National Eye Institute, more than 40 million Americans are currently age 65 or older, and this number is expected to grow to more than 88 million by 2050. By that same year, the number of Americans with age-related eye diseases is expected to double, and the number of people living with low vision is projected to triple.
Therefore, a dilated eye exam is so important for diagnosing and treating eye conditions.
During this exam, drops are placed in the eyes to dilate or widen them. The eye care professional uses a special magnifying lens to examine the retina which is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye and the optic nerve which is the bundle of fibers that send signals from the retina to the brain, for signs of damage and other eye problems.
In addition to an eye exam, there are things in your everyday life that you can do to protect your vision.
- If you smoke, stop
- Eat green leafy vegetables and fish
- Maintain normal blood pressure
- Wear sunglasses and a brimmed hat anytime you are outside in bright sunshine
- Wear safety eyewear when working around your house or playing sports