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Age-Related Eye Health: Proactive vs. Reactive Care

While declining vision may happen with age, age-related eye health concerns doesn't have to be a part of growing old.With an aging population, it’s important for eye care professionals to know the changes that occur throughout the years. Declining vision is a typical side effect of aging, with patients noticing changes between the ages of 40 and 60 years old. While declining vision may be unavoidable, Dr. Raymond Brill knows that age-related eye health concerns don’t have to be part of the picture.

 

Age-Related Eye Health Concerns

Age-related eye health concerns affect nearly 1.8 million people, while another 7.3 million are at risk. Affecting mostly adults over 50, it damages the macula and destroys central vision. Symptoms include:

  • Loss of visual sharpness
  • Straight lines appear wavy
  • Objects appear distorted
  • Dark spot takes over central vision

Once central vision is gone, there is no recovering it. While total vision loss will not occur, simple daily tasks become difficult.

Risks for Developing Age-Related Eye Health Concerns

The main risk factor for this eye health concern is in the name: age. Unfortunately, aging is unavoidable, like several other risk factors for age-related eye health concerns:

  • Family history
  • Light skin & eyes
  • Female

However, there are also some modifiable risk factors that you can advise patients to start mitigating:

  • Smoking
    • “Stop smoking, or better yet, don’t start.”
  • Unprotected sun exposure
    • “Wear sunglasses or a brimmed hat outside during the day.”
  • High blood pressure & cholesterol levels
    • “Be diligent in monitoring your levels and keeping them in check.”
  • Obesity
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Unhealthy lifestyle
    • “I’m going to tell you the same things you’ve been hearing and a new one:
      • Exercise regularly throughout the week (walk, run, ride a bike, etc.).
      • Eat a better diet that includes leafy greens, fruits, vegetables, and fish.
      • Take an eye health nutraceutical to get adequate amounts of zeaxanthin, lutein, and other eye-healthy nutrients.”

Proactive vs. Reactive

While patients can’t change their past risks like sun exposure and smoking, they can begin proactively making changes to help reduce their chances of developing age-related eye health concerns. It’s important that patients understand that once they start to notice symptoms, their eyes have already been damaged. Proactive care is the best way to help patients have positive outcomes, and it’s far less expensive for them in the long run. A comprehensive eye exam is the best way to identify age-related eye health concerns, but there are other methods of early risk detection. Dr. Brill utilizes macular pigment optical density (MPOD) measurement as another way to identify a modifiable risk factor for his patients.

“By using this technology, we’re able to identify decreases in macular function, assess the risk factors of developing [age-related eye health concerns] years before [they occur], and provide action steps to help mitigate the risk of developing [age-related eye health concerns]. “

An action step that’s common for those with age-related eye health concerns is nutritional intervention. Nutrition can better eye health and keep age-related eye health concerns from getting worse. Dr. Brill trusts EyePromise® eye health nutraceuticals for his patients and the QuantifEye® MPS II MPOD measurement instrument in his practice.

EyePromise offers ocular nutraceuticals to help mitigate risk of age-related eye health concerns.

Though getting older is something that cannot be controlled, patients’ risk of developing age-related eye health concerns can be. Lifestyle changes and proactive care are two ways patients can start to mitigate their risk. Offering your patients the best proactive care starts by knowing and evaluating their risks, and then knowing what next steps to take.

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