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#60 EyeSmart -

The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) has a website with lots of information about various eye diseases, treatments, eye health news, and tips for a lifetime of good eye health. The information is ophthalmologist – reviewed. Some of the information is for doctors, but much of it is for the public and patients.  https://www.aao.org/eye-health

EyeSmart is a program of the AAO and offers Ask An Eye M.D. where you can ask questions answered by a volunteer ophthalmologist. You can know how popular it is by the number of questions that have been asked: 2,743 when I last looked.  Here’s the link for this part of the website.

https://www.aao.org/eye-health/ask-ophthalmologist/categories

Macular Degeneration is just one of 30 topics. When you click on the condition, all the questions on that page relate to macular degeneration. At the bottom of the macular page under “Also of Interest” is an item called “Eye Health Statistics.” I have copied three stats that I found fascinating.

How many people in the United States have age-related macular degeneration (AMD)?

A: Nearly 2.1 million Americans age 50 and older have late AMD, the stage that can lead to severe vision impairment. In 2010, 9.1 million Americans had early AMD.[3] By age 80, one in ten Americans has late AMD, which is more common in women than in men.[4]

Q: How many people in the United States are legally blind?

A: Nearly 1.3 million Americans age 40 and older are legally blind.[11] (Defined as best-corrected visual acuity worse than or equal to 20/200 in the better-seeing eye.)

Q: How many people in the United States have low vision?

A: More than 2.9 million Americans age 40 and older have low vision.[12] (Defined as best-corrected visual acuity worse than 20/40; this number excludes those who are legally blind.)

Besides the question section and the statistics, I found the Tips for Eye Health in Adults over 65 had a section about what an eye exam can reveal besides eye diseases. Keeping up with regular eye exams helps your eye doctor to detect eye problems in their early stage when treatment is more effective.

BUT did you know – Eye doctors can detect other conditions with an eye exam? This site lists 20 other situations that can sometimes be found with an eye exam.

https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/surprising-health-conditions-eye-exam-detects

These can include brain tumors, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, Lyme disease, medicine toxicity, multiple sclerosis, stroke, thyroid disease, and vitamin A deficiency. These are nine of the 20. If your ophthalmologist sees a sign of something suspicious (not related to the eyes), he will refer you to your primary doctor or a specialist. And you thought an eye exam was just for your eyes. Wrong!

Keep up with your eye exams as often as your doctor recommends.


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