|Five Vision Topics Added to NIHSeniorHealth
Eye diseases and conditions leading to vision loss
increase significantly with age, and the number of people
with vision loss is expected to rise as the population
grows older. To help older adults learn more about these
conditions and vision loss, the NIHSeniorHealth Web
site is adding five new topics on vision: glaucoma,
cataract, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic
retinopathy, and low vision. Accurate, up-to-date information
about these conditions is only a mouse click away at
Glaucoma, cataract, AMD, diabetic retinopathy, and
low vision are common in older Americans. While glaucoma
can strike anyone, the risk for this eye disease, which
can damage the optic nerve and result in vision loss
and blindness, is much greater for people over age 60.
Cataract surgery is one of the most common surgeries
done in the U.S. By age 80, more than half of all Americans
either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery.
AMD, a leading cause of vision loss in Americans 60
years of age and older, affects the part of the retina
that allows you to see fine detail and blurs the sharp
central vision needed for straight-ahead activities
such as reading, sewing, and driving. One in every 12
people with diabetes age 40 and older has vision-threatening
diabetic retinopathy, a complication of diabetes and
a leading cause of blindness. People age 65 and older,
as well as African Americans and Hispanics over age
45, are at higher risk for low vision, which makes reading
the mail, shopping, cooking, watching TV, and other
everyday tasks difficult.
“Low vision and blindness can lead to loss of independence
and reduced quality of life for older Americans,” says
Paul A. Sieving, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National
Eye Institute (NEI), which developed the content for
the vision topics on the Web site. “Older Americans
now can turn to NIHSeniorHealth to learn more about
prevention, early detection, and treatment of eye diseases.
The Web site’s special features, including various large-print
type sizes, open-captioned videos, and an audio version,
are especially useful to those who already suffer from
One of the fastest growing age groups using the Internet,
older Americans increasingly turn to the World Wide
Web for health information. In fact, 66 percent of “wired” seniors
surf for health and medical information when they go
online. NIHSeniorHealth, a joint effort of the National
Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Library of
Medicine (NLM), was designed especially with seniors
in mind. The site, which is based on the latest research
on cognition and aging, features short, easy-to-read
segments of information. Additional topics coming soon
include problems with taste and smell, stroke, osteoporosis,
and falls. The site links to MedlinePlus, NLM’s premier,
more detailed site for consumer health information.
The NIA leads the federal effort supporting and conducting
research on aging and the health and well-being of older
people. The NLM, the world's largest library of the
health sciences, creates and sponsors Web-based health
information resources for the public and professionals.
The NEI conducts and supports research that leads to
sight-saving treatments and plays a key role in reducing
visual impairment and blindness. All three are components
of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland,
part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) The
Nation's Medical Research Agency is comprised
of 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of
the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.
It is the primary Federal agency for conducting and
supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical
research, and investigates the causes, treatments,
and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more
information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.