As we get older, we are more likely to develop eye problems, but doctors say there are ways to protect our eyes now to prevent eye problems later.
Dr. Bradford Snead, an ophthalmologist on the medical staff of Lee Health, says cataracts is a common diagnosis that causes patients to see a halo effect around lights. This can be dangerous while driving, particularly at night. “Their vision is reduced, they feel uncomfortable driving. That’s a time to come in and see us. It’s a good idea for everybody to get your eyes checked, but certainly older patients in their 50s, 60s, start developing conditions that maybe younger patients may not have has frequently, like cataracts.”
Eye screenings are quick and easy way to stay in tune with your vision. Patients start by reading a vision chart at the end of the room before doctors take a closer look at the front and back of the eye. “Certainly, those with diabetes tend to develop problems in the back of the eye, diabetic retinopathy so that should be checked. Sometimes we pick up on cataracts, if they think they need glasses and their vision is down sometimes it’s because of pathologic condition inside the eye that we can actually correct,” said Dr. Snead.
Around ages 60 and 70 the natural lens in the eye turns cloudy, that’s when patients develop cataracts. Doctors say this happens in 100 percent of patients but when it happens can vary. “The retina, the center part, it can deteriorate over time and that’s common here especially in Florida, being in the sun. Macro degeneration it’s very common. Typically, the patient’s vision goes out centrally, straight ahead, but their peripheral vision may be fine and unaffected initially,” said Dr. Snead.
He recommends wearing sunglasses when you’re outside to protect your eyes from sun damage. Eye screening can also help prolong good eye sight and prevent certain eye conditions.
View More Health Matters video segments at LeeHealth.org/Healthmatters/
Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care.