The most common causes of vision loss among the elderly population are cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration. It is important to keep your regular eye appointments and notify your doctor of any changes in your vision.
A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye leading to a decrease in vision. They may affect one or both eyes. Symptoms may include faded colors, blurry vision, halos around light, trouble with bright lights, and trouble seeing at night. This may result in trouble driving, reading, or recognizing faces.
From 2000 to 2010, the number of people with cataracts grew from 20.5 million to 24.4 million. By 2050, the number of people in the U.S. with cataract is expected to double from 24.4 million to about 50 million.
Glaucoma is one of the most common eye diseases, especially among the senior population. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is the 2nd leading cause of blindness in the world. The two most common types are primary open angle glaucoma and angle closure glaucoma. According to WHO data, it is estimated that 4.5 million persons globally are blind due to glaucoma.
From 2000 to 2010, the number of people in the U.S. with glaucoma grew from 2.22 million to 2.72 million. From 2010 to 2050, the number of people in the U.S. with glaucoma is expected to increase by more than double, from 2.7 million to 6.3 million.
Macular degeneration is the leading cause of severe vision loss in people over age 60. It occurs when the small central portion of the retina, known as the macula, deteriorates. Because the disease develops as a person ages, it is often referred to as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
From 2000-2010, the number of people with AMD grew from 1.75 million to 2.07 million. By 2050, the estimated number of people with AMD is expected to more than double from 2.07 million to 5.44 million.
Helpful Eye Care Resources
There are many things you and your elderly loved ones can do to keep eyes healthy and ensure optimal vision. Here are some helpful resources.
American Academy of Ophthalmology
The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons, working to protect sight and empower lives.
American Optometric Association
The American Optometric Association is the acknowledged leader and recognized authority for eye and vision care in the world that represents approximately 44,000 doctors of optometry, optometry students and paraoptometric assistants and technicians.
EyeCare America is a public service program of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology that provides eye care through a pool of nearly 6,000 volunteer ophthalmologists.
National Eye Institute
As part of the federal government’s National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Eye Institute (NEI) is dedicated to vision research that saves sight & reduces visual impairment & blindness.
Prevent Blindness is the nation's leading consumer advocate for eye health and safety, with the mission of preserving sight.
All About Vision
AllAboutVision.com is a comprehensive, up-to-date resource for consumers about all aspects of eye health and vision correction.
VisionAware helps adults who are losing their sight continue to live full and independent lives by providing timely information, step-by-step daily living techniques, a directory of national and local services, and a supportive online community.
American Macular Degeneration Foundation
The American Macular Degeneration Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to the prevention, treatment, and cure of macular degeneration.
Glaucoma Research Foundation
The Glaucoma Research Foundation is a national non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for glaucoma.
The Glaucoma Foundation is the premier not-for-profit organization committed to leading the fight against glaucoma and to identifying new treatments and cures.
Other Helpful Resources