4 Most Common Diseases that Cause Vision Loss in Seniors

4 Most Common Diseases that Cause Vision Loss in Seniors

Vision-related diseases are very common in seniors. Between 2010 and 2050, the estimated number of Americans affected by the most common eye diseases will double. There are four diseases that are diagnosed frequently every year; age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma.

Each year, at least 50,000 people go blind from preventable eye diseases. Director of the Wilmer Eye Institute and Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore says, “the two biggest drivers of people becoming visually impaired, are diabetes and old age.”

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a diabetic eye disease and the leading cause of blindness in America. It is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina. A healthy retina is necessary for good vision. The good news is that you can only get diabetic retinopathy if you have diabetes already. But if you do have diabetes, don’t worry. If you manage your diabetes well you are less likely to have a problem. Notice symptoms early and see a doctor, there are treatments for diabetic retinopathy. If you have diabetes, get eye exams regularly. Every year, nearly 24,000 Americans living with diabetes end up blind from this disease.

Age-related Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration destroys the part of the eye that provides sharp, central vision needed to see things clearly. About 2 million Americans have AMD. In 2003, researchers discovered your risk of developing AMD is 75% genetic. While you can’t control if your family has it, you can control other factors that may contribute to getting AMD, like exercising and not smoking. You can also take vitamins and minerals.


A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects how well you can see. Most cataracts are caused by aging and are very common in older adults, it is the leading cause of vision loss in people over 40. There are three different types of cataracts, so depending on which one you have there are different treatments and preventative measures you can take for each. One thing you can do is eat healthily, take vitamin supplements, and wear sunglasses when outside to protect your eyes from UV rays.


Glaucoma is a condition in which the fluid passes too slowly through a spongy meshwork in the eye. The fluid builds up, and the pressure inside the eye rises to a level that can cause damage to the optic nerve, resulting in vision loss. There are two kinds of glaucoma, open-angle, and angle-closure. Treatments for glaucoma include prescription eye drops, laser surgery, or microsurgery. You can’t prevent glaucoma, but you can catch it early.

There are many preventative measures you can take to avoid these diseases. One of the main things to do is see an eye doctor regularly. Get your eyes checked annually, even if it is just a check up. Don’t wait to make sure you will always have your sight.

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