The majority of individuals seen by the Society are experiencing age-related eye conditions, with many individuals having multiple eye conditions. The most common causes of vision loss in adults are age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and cataracts.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Age Related Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common eye disease among people aged 60 and older.  It gradually destroys the macula, the central part of the retina.  When the macula is damaged, the eye loses its ability to see detail, such as small print, facial features, and small objects.  When someone looks at things with the damaged area, objects may seem to fade or disappear.  Straight lines or edges may appear wavy.  It comes in two forms: dry and wet.  Each form requires different techniques to be used by eye care professionals to treat the condition.


Glaucoma is not just one disease.  It is a group of diseases that are all caused by the same event: fluid in the eye builds up and damages the optic nerve.  An eye care professional can help control glaucoma by prescribing eye drops or pills and/or performing laser or other kinds of surgery.  Without treatment, people with glaucoma will slowly lose their peripheral (side) vision.  They seem to be looking through a tunnel.  Over time, straight ahead (central) vision may also decrease until no vision remains. Glaucoma is detected through a comprehensive dilated eye exam.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes and a leading cause of blindness.  It occurs when diabetes damages the tiny blood vessels inside the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. If someone has diabetic retinopathy, at first one may not notice changes to their vision.  But over time, diabetic retinopathy can worsen and cause vision loss.  Diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes.  Keeping blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible and regular visits to your eye care professional will help reduce the risk of permanent vision loss due to diabetic retinopathy.


Blurry Seaside Image

A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects vision.  The lens must be clear for the retina to receive a sharp image.  If the lens is cloudy from a cataract, the image someone sees will be blurred.  Most cataracts are related to aging.  A cataract can occur in either or both eyes.  It cannot spread from one eye to the other.  Surgery is the effective treatment for advanced cataracts.  Surgery involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial lens.  Cataract surgery is one of the most common operations performed in the United States. 

For Further Assistance

If you, or someone you know, is experiencing blurriness, peripheral vision loss, not able to see straight ahead, having trouble watching television, reading the paper, seeing medication bottles, labels or other visual activities, it is important to see your Ophthalmologist.

For further assistance with one of these eye conditions or others, please make an appointment with the doctors of the Drews Low Vision Clinic.

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