FYI Daily

Watch for Signs of Retina Damage -- and Act

Last updated: Nov 08, 2011

Eye

Two retina problems that endanger vision are more common in older adults, reports the New York Times personal health columnist Jane Brody.

Retinal vein occlusion is second only to diabetic retinopathy as a cause of blindness in older adults. It happens when there's a blockage to the central vein that drains blood from the retina. Retinal detachment happens when the retina pulls away from the wall of the eye due to age, extreme nearsightedness, cataract surgery, or injury.

What to watch for: Any loss of vision or changes in vision, such as cloudiness, "floaters" (spots, hairs, or strings in your vision), or flashes of light. The amazing good news is that with immediate treatment, the precious ability to see can usually be preserved or restored. But timing matters, so get yourself or your loved one to an ophthalmologist quickly.