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Q: What are macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts?

Posted February 06, 2013 in Advice Column, Clear Lake

A: Sight is precious, and without it seniors cannot remain safely independent in their homes. The leading cause of blindness in seniors is age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Changes in the macula, which is responsible for central vision, result in the loss of vision. Those with AMD see objects in their periphery, but not directly in front of them. AMD is not reversible, but an optometrist can recommend ways to slow the progression.

Glaucoma, the second cause of blindness, damages the optic nerve causing the loss of peripheral vision. Those affected don’t notice the loss immediately because they are slowly being robbed of their side vision. The damage from glaucoma cannot be corrected, but optometrists can detect early signs of glaucoma and, with proper treatment, the progression can be slowed or minimized.

Cataracts are another cause of decreased vision. A cataract is a clouding or yellowing in the lens of the eye. An ophthalmologist can replace the “yellowed” lens, significantly improving vision.

To learn more about the topic of macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts, attend Oakwood Care Center’s free “In an Oakwood Hour” lunch and learn on Feb. 13 from noon to 1 p.m. at Oakwood Care Center. Call Katie Mason at (641) 357-5244 to reserve your spot.

Information provided by Katie Mason, marketing coordinator at Oakwood Care Center, 400 Highway 18 W., Clear Lake, 641 357-5244.

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