Tag Archives: eyes

Are the eyes a window into Alzheimer’s risk?

Photo: Nan Palmero via Flickr

Can your eyes predict the onset of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) years before cognitive symptoms appear? Findings in a recent study may hold promise for such early detection, say researchers at the University of California, San Diego.

AD starts altering and damaging the brain years — even decades — before symptoms appear, making early identification of risk paramount to slowing its progression. Continue reading

Congress watch: Why Medicare coverage of unmet needs is so vital

Photo: John Spade via Flickr

Congress returns from its summer recess with a full agenda. It’s probably not high on its to-do list, but many advocates of older Americans hope it will address several pieces of legislation introduced this year that could help many seniors better afford and access dental care, eyeglasses and hearing aids.

These are items that traditional Medicare doesn’t pay for but would make a world of difference in the health and well-being of older adults. Continue reading

Studies indicate need for better eye care for older adults

Photo: NIH Image Gallery via Flickr

Photo: NIH Image Gallery via Flickr

What’s worse? Losing your vision, memory, speech, hearing or a limb? For many adults, loss of eyesight is the most feared. Eye impairments and lack of appropriate care are a growing problem for many older adults, as it can lead to loss of independence and an increased burden on the health system.

In a recent nationwide poll, researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, found that the nearly half of respondents (47.4 percent) across all ethnic and racial groups described loss of eyesight as the worst ailment that could happen to them Continue reading

Aging eyes deserve evidence-based reporting, research

Aging eyes

Photo by 8 Eyes Photography via Flickr

Sitting in the waiting room of my ophthalmologist’s office was an elderly man, who I later learned was 100 years old, perhaps 102, no one was sure.

He could walk with the help of his aide and a sturdy cane and his cognition seemed good. My doctor later told me that this gentleman’s eyesight was as good or better than someone 20 or 25 years younger.

It got me thinking about what happens to our eyes as we age.

Why do some people maintain good vision well into their 90s while others struggle with serious visual decline at a younger age? Loss of vision significantly impacts a senior’s independence, which in turn, may lead to depression. Continue reading

Aspirin study causes headaches for journalists

Along with a story on aspirin and macular degeneration, my editors got a panicked note from me recently: “I struggled with the numbers on this one, and may not have gotten them right,”I wrote.

Odds are that I wasn’t the only reporter puzzling over the numbers in this study, which was published in JAMA Internal Medicine. That’s because some of them were made up, apparently by a journal editor.

The error added a scary statistic to research that was already generating some pretty alarming health headlines (i.e. “Aspirin Ups Risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration,” courtesy of a website for doctors called Clinical Advisor.)

To make matters worse, the mistake got repeated in the press release. (Et tu, media relations team?)

Thankfully, it seems many health reporters noticed something was amiss and left the wrong numbers out of their stories. Continue reading