Friday, October 15, 2010
ROCHESTER, Minn. — The October issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter offers an in-depth look at ways to help older adults preserve sight and maintain eye health. Aging often affects vision. But many age-related eye problems can be managed or treated with a broad array of devices and technology. Topics covered in the eight-page Special Report include:
There's no treatment for the most common form of macular degeneration, called dry AMD. But evidence indicates that certain vitamins and minerals may slow progression of the disease. A study conducted by the National Eye Institute found that taking high doses of vitamins A, C and E and the minerals zinc and copper slowed the progression of dry macular degeneration by up to 25 percent for some participants.
About 10 to 15 percent of patients have wet AMD, which is characterized by abnormal blood vessels in the eye. Symptoms include dark spots in the center vision or wavy visual distortions. Wet AMD progresses much more rapidly than dry AMD and accounts for 80 percent of the severe vision loss in people with AMD. Often patients are treated with anti-angiogenic medications that are injected directly into the eye and can prevent or retard the growth of abnormal blood vessels. Early diagnosis and treatment can help stop or slow progression of the disease.
The best way to preserve vision is by having regular comprehensive eye exams so any problems can be promptly diagnosed and treated.
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