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With age our body undergoes changes that sometimes limited usual activities. The visual system is no exception, and some diseases or visual disorders are associated with this physiological process.

Fortunately modern medicine, ophthalmology, has evolved to resolve many disease processes or changes that come with age, can be and maintain a level of optimum vision to develop a completely normal life.

Regular eye examinations are an important way to prevent eye care. They allow easy detection of visual problems associated with aging that can trigger severe visual loss, even permanently. The visual changes caused by the passage of time require early detection to prevent the negative consequences that can trigger.


PRESBYOPIA
Vision is a mechanism where the light must pass through the cornea and lens and reach the retina that is to forward the image to the brain via the optic nerve. The crystalline continuously changes its shape to focus light from objects which are at different distances from the eye.

In young eyes, the lens is very flexible. With age, the flexibility is lost. Around age 40, the lens begins to lose its ability to change shape and thus the ability to focus on objects that are close to us. This condition is called presbyopia and it is quite normal for all people aged 40 to 45 years.

No exercises or medication to prevent this process. When you start presbyopia, to facilitate the correct approach will require reading glasses or bifocals. Often between 40 and 60 years old, required change of glasses every two years to improve the blur vision caused by hardening of the lens.

FLOATERS
People of all ages often suffer in his vision floaters that look like insects flying. These "floaters" develop in the vitreous humor, a clear gel-like fluid that fills a large part of the eye.

With aging sometimes vitreous separates into an aqueous portion and a fibrillar part. The fibrillar part can float behind the lens and cause the sensation of dark spots in vision.

Floaters are not associated with serious eye disease. Fortunately usually disappear and cause no damage to the eyes. However, a sudden increase in the number of floaters may indicate a ruptured blood vessel or retinal detachment. Therefore, it is always advisable to see an ophthalmologist when flies appear, to determine whether they are important or are the beginning of a more serious problem.

CATARACTS
Cataracts develop when the lens loses its transparency. The cause of this opacity is not entirely known. Sometimes the tendency to develop cataracts is familiar or occurs after ocular trauma.

Some types of cataracts develop slowly while others make it faster. If the view is not affected by cataract, it need not be removed. If the cataract causes difficulties in reading, driving, or interference in the lifestyle of the person, the extraction of the opacified lens should be valued. A cataract can only be removed through surgery. Cataracts can not be removed with laser or other system that does not require the eye opening. Laser surgery can be used however, after cataract surgery to open part of the membrane (capsule), which can cause opacification after cataract surgery.

Cataracts are removed in patients of all ages, usually with excellent results. Generally it is an outpatient procedure that does not require hospitalization, where the patient goes home to control the next day.

When the opacified lens is removed, the focal power of the eye must be replaced to see well. The lens must be replaced by an intraocular implant (IOL) or contact lens or glasses. Today IOL is preferred to provide better quality of vision as well as for her role as "physiological barrier" between the two main parts of the eye, anterior and posterior segments. The patient's final vision will depend on the status of your retina.


GLAUCOMA
Glaucoma is a disease that affects about 3% of the normal population. In untreated cases, the optic nerve is affected, usually because the intraocular pressure is elevated. Fortunately, the vision loss from glaucoma can be prevented most of the time if the disease is detected and treated before the optic nerve is damaged. Glaucoma, more than other eye conditions, needs to be detected in time for successful treatment.

Importantly, this disease usually causes no symptoms or abnormalities that indicate their presence. Many people with glaucoma are unaware that they have the problem.

The best way to prevent vision loss is to undergo periodic eye exams. With a simple and painless test measures the intraocular pressure ophthalmologist, examines the state of the optic nerve, and can perform additional tests if suspicion of glaucoma is high.

If diagnosed glaucoma, vision loss can be slowed or prevented with medical treatment, surgery or laser eye treatment. The intraocular pressure can be reduced typically drops or tablets. If this is not enough we must resort to other alternatives such as laser or minimally invasive surgery.

Although successful treatment stops vision loss caused by glaucoma, we must remember that the vision loss can not be returned once the damage has occurred. Only through diagnosis with periodic medical examinations of the eyes can be prevented serious worsening visual character.


MACULAR DEGENERATION
With aging, there may be difficulties in reading and other visual tasks. Although in most cases, visual impairment can be corrected by spectacles, it may also be due to a deterioration of the macula, the central retinal area. This region of the retina is critical for vision.

When a deterioration, usually peripheral vision is not affected. Therefore, people with macular degeneration are usually able to see well enough to function on their own and do jobs that do not require an extreme view. The loss of central vision makes work harder next and see details of distant objects.

The presence of a macular disorder usually associated with progressive loss of vision and, so far, with little chance of recovering or even stop the injury process. There is now a treatment that has proven effective in the forms "weeping" of age-related maculopathy. It is coagulate blood vessels forming in the macular area, this will inject a substance which selectively stimulates a laser from the outside is eliminated so accurately the abnormal tissue, while respecting the healthy retina. This treatment is known as "photodynamic therapy".

Fortunately, although central vision can be seriously affected by macular degeneration, peripheral vision will be respected. Therefore, some patients with macular degeneration who have lost their vision are able to see well enough to navigate and perform jobs that do not require a precise central vision.


DIABETIC EYE PROBLEMS
Diabetes may affect the eyes of several forms, including retinal changes characterized by blood vessel formation in the back of the eye. If left untreated, this can trigger a retinal detachment and blindness. Not all diabetics develop severe changes, but the likelihood of such changes increases over time.

Until recently, almost nothing could be done to curb the retinal changes caused by diabetes. Currently modern ophthalmology may use a laser beam to avoid extravasation of blood vessels and reduce the possibility of visual loss.

All diabetics should have regular eye exams so you can be diagnosed with an early form alterations characteristic of this disease, to prevent vision loss.


WHO CAN TREAT EYE PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH AGING?

Visual problems outlined above, of old age, should be diagnosed and treated by an ophthalmologist. At present there is close collaboration between optometrists and ophthalmologists optical. If an optometrist detects a loss of vision or suspect any type of alteration related ocular apparatus shall inform and forward it to the ophthalmologist, as only he can treat it properly.

Remember that the ophthalmologist is a physician who has performed a specific training to prevent, diagnose and treat disease and all problems related to vision, for it is the professional who must ensure the health of your eyes.

 
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