oa South African Family Practice - Common eye disorders in the elderly - a short review : CPD

Volume 48, Issue 7
  • ISSN : 2078-6190
  • E-ISSN: 2078-6204



As the eye ages, certain changes occur that may affect vision. &lt;i&gt;Presbyopia&lt;/i&gt; is corrected by the use of reading glasses.&lt;i&gt;Cataracts&lt;/i&gt; are common and vision can be restored following a reasonably simple operation. Visual loss due to &lt;i&gt;glaucoma&lt;/i&gt; can be minimised by early detection and treatment, but once vision has been lost it cannot be recovered. Much research is being done on the treatment of <i>age-related macular degeneration, &lt;/i&gt; but this currently remains the main cause of irreversible loss of vision in the elderly. Results of <i>macular hole&lt;/i&gt; surgery are improving due to improved surgical techniques and better diagnostic equipment (Optical Coherence Tomography). Underlying vascular disease (systemic hypertension, diabetes, atherosclerosis, vasculitis) is usually present in patients with <i>retinal artery occlusion, retinal vein occlusion&lt;/i&gt; or <i>anterior ischaemic optic neuropathy.&lt;/i&gt;

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