Vision loss in older persons

Allen L. Pelletier, Jeremy Thomas, Fawwaz R. Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Family physicians have an essential role in assessing, identifying, treating, and preventing or delaying vision loss in the aging population. Approximately one in 28 U.S. adults older than 40 years is visually impaired. Vision loss is associated with depression, social isolation, falls, and medication errors, and it can cause disturbing hallucinations. Adults older than 65 years should be screened for vision problems every one to two years, with attention to specific disorders, such as diabetic retinopathy, refractive error, cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration. Vision-related adverse effects of commonly used medications, such as amiodarone or phosphodiesterase inhibitors, should be considered when evaluating vision problems. Prompt recognition and management of sudden vision loss can be vision saving, as can treatment of diabetic retinopathy, refractive error, cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration. Aggressive medical management of diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia; encouraging smoking cessation; reducing ultraviolet light exposure; and appropriate response to medication adverse effects can preserve and protect vision in many older persons. Antioxidant and mineral supplements do not prevent age-related macular degeneration, but may play a role in slowing progression in those with advanced disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)963-970
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican family physician
Volume79
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2009

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Macular Degeneration
Refractive Errors
Diabetic Retinopathy
Glaucoma
Cataract
Medication Errors
Social Isolation
Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors
Amiodarone
Hallucinations
Family Physicians
Smoking Cessation
Ultraviolet Rays
Hyperlipidemias
Minerals
Antioxidants
Depression
Hypertension
Population
Therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice

Cite this

Pelletier, A. L., Thomas, J., & Shaw, F. R. (2009). Vision loss in older persons. American family physician, 79(11), 963-970.

Vision loss in older persons. / Pelletier, Allen L.; Thomas, Jeremy; Shaw, Fawwaz R.

In: American family physician, Vol. 79, No. 11, 01.06.2009, p. 963-970.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Pelletier, AL, Thomas, J & Shaw, FR 2009, 'Vision loss in older persons', American family physician, vol. 79, no. 11, pp. 963-970.
Pelletier AL, Thomas J, Shaw FR. Vision loss in older persons. American family physician. 2009 Jun 1;79(11):963-970.
Pelletier, Allen L. ; Thomas, Jeremy ; Shaw, Fawwaz R. / Vision loss in older persons. In: American family physician. 2009 ; Vol. 79, No. 11. pp. 963-970.
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