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Active Retirees : Active Retirees April-May 2012
Active RetireesTM | 35 Y ou’ve got more in common with your kids and even your grandkids than you – and they – think. You might not see it and chances are they won’t see it either. Why? Because genetic eye problems are the number one self-reported health condition in Australia, with long-sightedness the chart topper in the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ National Health Survey, whether you are 24, 65 or 75. Look in the mirror (closely if you need to). How much of your eye do you really see? Not much, considering that your entire eyeball is actually the size of a ping- pong ball. Crammed into that small ball is quite a bit. • The conjunctiva is a transparent film that covers your eye. • The sclera is the tough outer layer of the eye which makes up the whites of your eye. • The cornea is located at the front of the eye. It’s clear and helps you focus. • The iris is the coloured part of the eye. It’s the part that people refer to and say, you’ve got blue eyes, brown eyes or hazel eyes. • The pupil is the black opening in the centre of the iris. The pupil regulates the amount of light that enters your eye by changing size depending on whether it’s bright or dull. • The lens is behind the iris and helps to focus light onto the retina – much like a camera lens. • The largest part of the eye is the middle of it – the vitreous body and it is filled with a clear gel called vitreous that light travels through before reaching the retina. • The retina sits at the back of the eye. It converts light into visual messages that travel to the brain via the optic nerve. • The macula is part of the retina that allows us to see fine detail. In the centre of that is the fovea, which provides the sharpest point of vision. I can see clearly ... sometimes While eye health and long- sightedness should be on everyone's radars, baby boomers need to be aware of a raft of extra eye conditions. “There are several predominant eye conditions to look out for from 55 years of age,” said Jared Slater, optometrist and National Professional Services Manager of the Optometrists Association Australia (OAA). The main one is presbyopia. “Presbyopia is a completely normal part of ageing and is not a disease,” says Slater. “It’s the gradual reduction in the amount the eye can change its focus.” It becomes noticeable in » Knowing what to look out for and when – whether you are in your 50s, 60s, 70s or beyond – is key to keeping your eyes healthy. By Simone McClenaughan Eyes wide open In the blink of an eye Every month, Jill Falls has an injection in her right eye. “I wouldn’t miss it for anything,” says the 80-year-old macular degeneration patient. “I’ve had 42 of them now and it has saved my sight.” Jill was in her 70s when her optometrist found a hole in the retina of her left eye. An ophthalmologist was called in and Jill had six courses of the macular degeneration injection treatment. “It restored some vision,” she said. “I didn’t realise I had a problem with my left eye because my right eye had been compensating for it.” As such it was a bit late to treat the condition as effectively. Four weeks later, Jill noticed the lines in the book she was reading were wavy. She saw her ophthalmologist immediately and started injections in her right eye. “I have no problem with my vision now. Don’t put off getting your eyes checked – sight is too precious!”
Active Retirees Feb-March 2012
Active Retirees June-July 2012