03.02.2009

"Efforts underway" to prevent age-related vision decline

"Efforts underway" to prevent age-related vision decline

Clinical and research efforts are currently in place to determine ways of preventing or slowing vision decline related to age, according to an Australian doctor.

According to the American Academy of Opthalmology, Ruth Hogg of Melbourne said that as people age, they can experience a number of vision troubles, including adjusting between outdoor and indoor light or driving at night.

Using a study of twins, Dr Hogg and her colleagues found that vision is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors.

Environmental factors include smoking, exposure to sunlight, nutrition and inflammation.

Genetics was found to be the main determining factor of colour discrimination functions and visual sharpness, but environmental factors were attributed to the ability to adapt to changes in light and to night vision.

Dr Hogg asserted that these environmental factors can contribute to rod cell deterioration and she explained that work is now underway to determine how this can be prevented with a combination of specific medications and modified lifestyle factors.

According to 2006 research from the BMA Tobacco Control Resource Centre, smoking is linked to a number of eye diseases, including age-related macular degeneration and nuclear cataracts.

by Adrian Galbreth


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