The Underlying Health Conditions That Increase Your Risk for Vision Loss
Your eyes are not only the window to the soul--they can also be a window into your health. Most people will experience some form of vision loss or impairment in their life, particularly as they age. According to the CDC, 3.4 million Americans over the age of 40 are blind or visually impaired. Many health conditions impact your eye health; some may not be as obvious as you may think.
Diabetic retinopathy is an eye condition caused by long-term diabetes. It is the leading cause of vision loss among working-age people in the United States; 1 out of 3 people with diabetes will develop diabetic retinopathy. Diabetics also run a higher risk of cataracts as well as glaucoma, a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve.
High blood pressure is serious and common. Those who suffer from hypertension know the havoc it can wreak on the body; this condition can be linked to anxiety, heart disease, obesity, and even diabetes. If left untreated, hypertension can damage the blood vessels in and around your eyes, causing impaired vision.
Autoimmune disorders can affect nearly every part of your body--from your skin to your joints, all the way to your eyes. There are many types of autoimmune conditions, and your doctor will be able to accurately forecast how your diagnosis will affect your vision. If you suffer from any of the following conditions, your eye health may be at risk in the future:
- Behcet Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Ulcerative Colitis
- Crohn’s Disease
Be sure to see your ophthalmologist regularly to stay on top of your eye health, especially if you are over 40. Work with your doctor to set up how often you should come in for a screening. They will not only make sure your eyes are working to the best of their ability, but they may also be able to help catch other concerns regarding your condition.
To prevent vision problems, consulting with an expert is important. Talk to your doctor about ways to improve your overall health, combat genetics, and keep your eyes happy and healthy. Be sure to stay active and avoid excessive drug or alcohol use, as well as tobacco. If you have questions or to speak with a professional, contact us today.