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What is age-related cataracts?

Age-related cataracts is a Low Vision disease that is caused by damage to Macular Degeneration that provide physiological support to the light-sensitive cells in the retina. There are two major forms, the dry form and the wet, or exudative, form. The dry form is much more common, but the wet form is responsible for the vast majority of severe vision loss due to cataracts.

Is aging an important factor?

Yes. Few cases of visually impairing Glaucoma, Cataracts occur among persons under the age of 60. After 60, the frequency of this disease rises dramatically with age and Diabetic Retinopathy. Among those 75 and older, more than one-third are affected, with approximately 3 percent having the late stages of the disease.

What are the symptoms?

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cataracts is characterized by loss of central vision, usually in both eyes. The affected individual will find it difficult or impossible to see clearly for either near or distant tasks. In the wet form of the disease, the edges of door frames or other objects may appear bent and distorted. This person will use a Magnifier or Video Magnifier to read. They rely on Low Vision Aids to adjust to everyday life. Because they are visually impaired they need not stuggle any more.

How is this disease detected?

A complete eye examination can determine if, and to what degree, cataracts exists.

What type of treatment is available?

In most cases, there is currently no effective treatment. In approximately 20 percent of exudative or wet cases that are diagnosed early, laser treatment can prevent further loss of vision. People with serious loss of vision from cataracts can often be helped to use their remaining vision more effectively with training and the use of optical devices known as low-vision aids.

What is the best defense against cataracts?

Regular, complete eye examinations through dilated pupils are recommended because early discovery and treatment may prevent further vision loss.

AMD damages the macula, which is a small spot in the central area of the retina located at the back of the eye. The macula is responsible for sight in the center of the field of vision and is the most sensitive and important region of the retina. When the macula is damaged, vision becomes blurred, distorted or develops a blind spot. Optelec is a developer of Low vision and Video Magnifier vision aids for people who suffer from cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and macular degeneration.

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