__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 82

EYE ON THE PRIZE // HEALTH CARE

EYE ON THE PRIZE

MAINTAINING VISION FOR LIFE BY ERLYNN GOCOCO

A

s a natural consequence of aging, many adults will experience a change in their vision. Attributed to a number of factors, including genetics and lifestyle, these changes can vary from mild to extremely severe. Eye health is an important issue that needs to be taken seriously. Just like visiting the dentist on a regular basis for checkups, making an appointment with an eye doctor is equally important, and even more so as you get older. A recent study conducted by the Canadian Association of Optometrists concluded that “Vision loss is the most feared disability for Canadians (69 per cent) and the prevalence of vision loss in Canada is expected to increase nearly 30 per cent in the next decade. Vision loss has the highest direct health-care costs of any disease with the financial burden of vision loss expected to double, reaching $30.3 billion by 2032. The time to act is now, given that over 75 per cent of vision loss is preventable or treatable.” Ophthalmologist and vitreoretinal surgeon Dr. Patrick Mitchell explains the majority of eye issues become more prevalent with age. “Many issues are fixable, such as cataracts, but some problems can cause irreversible

58

APRIL 2019 // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM

damage, if left untreated for too long. Examples include glaucoma, macular degeneration or retinal detachments. These conditions are treatable, but outcomes are better if treatment is started early.” Mitchell sees many different types of cases in his patients. “If the cornea develops serious problems it can sometimes require transplantation with a new one. If the lens becomes a cataract, it can be replaced with a new artificial lens. If the retina develops bad macular degeneration, damage from diabetes or high blood pressure, these conditions are often treated with injections of medication into the eye or laser treatments. The retina can also detach, and if this occurs, usually surgery is required.” Dr. Riaz Ahmed, optometrist with Mission Eye Care, Centre for Dry Eye and Corneal Disease, echoes Dr. Mitchell’s comments on eye issues related to age. “Perhaps the most concerning of these is glaucoma, a silent and progressive disease with no symptoms until the end stage when almost all peripheral vision is lost. It is caused due to an imbalance between the fluid pressure in the eye and the blood flow into the eye, and results in blindness, if untreated.”

Profile for Business in Calgary

Business in Calgary - April 2019  

Business in Calgary - April 2019  

Advertisement