The leading cause of blindness in the world is age-related vision disorders. Cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy account for well over 50% of all vision loss in the country and in the world, providing one more reason you should commit to annual eye exams after the age of 60. When caught early on, these diseases can be treated for complete correction or to slow their progression. It becomes much more difficult to effectively address these disorders once vision loss has occurred.
October is Blindness Awareness Month, an effort by the World Health Organization (WHO) to draw attention to preventable causes of blindness and increase interest in finding cures for vision loss. According to the WHO, 285 million people suffer from blindness or low-vision throughout the world and here at home, 47,000 Americans lose their vision every year, adding to the swiftly growing estimate of 4 million who are currently living without vision in our country.
A Closer Look at the Numbers
Age-related vision disorders do not take sight instantly. These disorders are typically slow to progress, gradually stealing vision until there is nothing left to take. Sadly, millions of men and women living with age-related vision loss are unaware of their condition – and the looming threat of blindness.
The CDC reports that in America:
- 20.5 million people have a cataract in one or both eyes
- 4.1 million people have diabetic retinopathy
- 2.7 million people over the age of 40 have glaucoma
- 1.8 million people over the age of 40 are suffering from macular degeneration
Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in the world, but cataracts rank first in the United States. Diabetic retinopathy is somewhat unique on this list as it is the only disorder common in younger patients as well.
How We Can Help
At Seeta Eye Centers, we provide both the eye exams needed to detect early signs of age-related vision disorders and the targeted treatments needed to slow or stop their progression. Our board-certified ophthalmologists utilize the most advanced technology and follow the highest standards of patient care, enabling us to help men and women living throughout Upstate New York with the safest and most effective options for vision loss. These include:
- Bladeless cataract surgery
- Early diabetic retinopathy treatment
- Laser treatments and advanced glaucoma surgery techniques
- Medication therapy and laser treatments for wet macular degeneration
While there is no cure for macular degeneration, its progress can be significantly slowed with treatment. We will discuss this with you in greater detail if you are diagnosed with macular degeneration. If you have a family member who has been diagnosed with this particular disorder, we suggest coming to our Fishkill or Poughkeepsie office at least once a year after the age of 40 for proper testing. Risks of developing macular degeneration at an earlier age are much higher in individuals with a family history of the disorder.
Reducing Your Risks for Age-Related Vision Loss
Risk factors for vision loss vary, but there are steps you can take to reduce your risks of developing many of the more aggressive disorders. To help reduce your risks of developing a vision-stealing disorder, you can:
- Refrain from smoking
- Choose a healthy and balanced diet
- Wear sunglasses when outside during the day
- Use proper eye protection
- Maintain routine visits for eye exams
Visiting our office for exams will not prevent vision loss, but it will give us an opportunity to address minor issues before they become serious problems. We have over 45 years of experience helping patients in the Hudson Valley region protect and restore their vision. We welcome an opportunity to meet with you and provide you with the services needed to keep your sight strong for years to come.
October is Blindness Awareness Month and the perfect time to call us at 845-454-1025 to learn about our services. We maintain offices in Poughkeepsie and Fishkill to better serve men and women living throughout our region.