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As we get older, many of us will experience loss of vision to varying degrees. But for some, vision loss can interfere with the activities they enjoy, such as reading or other hobbies. Read on to learn more about vision loss and ways you can cope with these changes.

What it means to lose vision

When a person is suffering from blindness, it doesn't necessarily mean complete blindness--the total loss of sight and light to the eye. It can mean that part of your vision is impaired, such as peripheral vision or focus, and some vision impairments do not lead to complete loss of sight. Four common conditions that can lead to a reduction in sight include:

• Cataracts

• Glaucoma

• Macular degeneration

• Diabetes

Fortunately, vision loss is treatable – and sometimes reversible – with prescription lenses, medication, light therapy and surgical procedures.

If you are experiencing vision problems, your physician can conduct a thorough eye exam and suggest whether you can benefit from seeing an eye specialist. Undergoing routine eye exams annually can help your physician adjust your vision needs as you age and prevent and treat potentially serious forms of vision loss.

Whether it's cataract surgery or a delicate eye surgery for injuries or chronic disease management, Siloam Springs Regional Hospital is here for you. Our dedicated surgical team is committed to providing compassionate care to patients of every age. For referral to a physician near you who is on the medical staff of Siloam Springs Regional Hospital, call our Find-A-Doctor line at 800-734-2024.

Habits for healthier eyes

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2.9 million adults older than 65 are living with vision loss. Consider making these lifestyle changes to protect your sight.

• Eat your veggies. Adding dark, leafy vegetables and carrots – which contain carotenoids – to your diet has been shown to help people maintain and even prevent vision loss.

• Getting plenty of vitamins and minerals. Vitamin A and zinc are essential micronutrients that can assist with maintaining sight. Your physician can determine whether a supplemental regimen can help improve your vision.

• Live a healthier life. Quitting smoking, eating a nutrient-rich diet, maintaining a healthy body weight and keeping blood pressure in check can help prevent vision loss.

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