Maintaining functional ability across the life course can help protect the health and well-being of older people. Promoting vision health and ensuring appropriate treatment of vision-related conditions is one important way to enable healthy ageing.
For individuals over the age of 60, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss. By causing damage to the center of the retina, AMD is a slow and degenerative disease heavily impacting the central field of vision. Although not always resulting in blindness, this loss of vision makes it difficult for older people to drive, read, recognize faces and notice details. However, if AMD is detected early, treatment options exist that can improve patient outcomes. Dr Jane Barratt is an international expert on the role of vision health in promoting the functional ability of older people and can speak to the impact of AMD in an ageing population.
As May is Vision Health Month, it is a pivotal time to ensure conversations include improved patient education, affordable comprehensive screening and treatment and the critical role of a physician to be able to determine the safest, appropriate and most effective treatment for each patient. Additionally, it is also important to understand individual risks and enable the maintenance of functional ability in a globally ageing population. For example, as AMD risk factors include smoking, family history and life style choices, it is crucial to get regular comprehensive medical eye exams to catch the disease before the symptoms arise.
The IFA 14th Global Conference on Ageing will highlight how improved vision health contributes to healthy ageing under the Conference theme “Toward Healthy Ageing.”
Dr. Jane Barratt Secretary General
As Secretary General of the IFA Dr Barratt is an internationaly respected speaker on age related issues across the globe.