Dr. Mark Hornfeld on How Poor Health Can Lead to Poor Vision (part 2 of 2)

Dr. Mark Hornfeld continues to answer questions about eye diseases associated with poor health and how people can preserve their vision.

Question: What steps should people take to preserve their vision as they age?

Dr. Mark Hornfeld: A growing body of evidence suggests that many of the most debilitating age-related eye disorders, such as glaucoma, cataracts, and retinopathy, may actually be linked to metabolic syndrome. The syndrome is a group of risk factors, including abdominal fat, diabetes, glucose intolerance, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure that can increase the risk of coronary disease. Studies suggest that if you can prevent the syndrome, you can prevent eye damage. As a precautionary measure, adults should eat a diet low in refined sugar and high in whole grains and vegetables, exercise regularly, and watch their waistlines. They should also visit the doctor and the eye doctor regularly to spot problems, and get annual blood tests to check for the early signs of the syndrome.

Question: If someone suspects that they’re experiencing vision loss, what should they do?

Dr. Mark Hornfeld: Make an appointment with an eye doctor. Be sure to express your concerns when you make the appointment, so that you can get in as soon as possible. These conditions are easier to treat when caught early. We have surgeries and drugs to treat many age-related eye diseases. You don’t have to lose your sight; many treatments, such as cataract surgery, actually offer a full recovery of lost vision.

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