Vision Impairment Conditions

There are a number of eye disorders and vision problems which affect older people. Look at the Mayo Clinic's Slide Show: Age-related Vision Problems for a very useful and informative description plus photos of the most common vision impairment problems which you may encounter: CLICK HERE. You can also watch the videos on the right and below concerning macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration is one of the major causes of blindness in people over 80. If you have this disorder, you should join the Macular Society as a matter of priority. They offer you support and information about the latest research findings. Please see their website for full details. You can opt to listen to their website if you are visually impaired. Just click on the 'Listen' box at the top of their website. They also have a free helpline: 0300 3030 111. The line is manned during normal office hours by people who can answer most questions and provide information on the support available to both patients and their carers. There is no charge for this service and it is available to members and non-members. There is a treatment available for the most advanced form of age-related macular degeneration - End-Stage AMD which involves implanting a tiny telescope prosthesis in the eye - see the CentraSight website for more information. CentraSight is located in the United States. Ask your doctor about availability in the UK. 

Glaucoma is a term that describes a group of eye conditions that affect vision. The main nerve in the eye (the optic nerve) becomes damaged usually as a result of increased pressure in the eye. This can lead to misty and patchy vision which worsens if left untreated. There is more information on the International Glaucoma Association website - the charity for people with glaucoma.

Glaucoma Video

Development of Glaucoma Video

Retinal Detachment Video

Test yourself to see if you have macular degeneration or other eye disorders. Print out the Amsler Grid and follow the instructions: CLICK HERE

Symptoms of Age Related Macular Degeneration Video

Cataracts Video

Cataracts Operation Animated Video

Celebrities with 
Macular Degeneration

Dame Judi Dench

Famous for her role as MI6 boss ‘M’ in recent James Bond films, suffers  from macular degeneration, her ‘star’ power focussed attention on the disease.


Bob Hope
Bob Hope was a well known entertainer. He appeared in movies, television, radio, on Broadway, and in vaudeville. 

Edgar Degas
Edgar Degas was a famous French artist. He is known as one of the early founders of Impressionism. 


Ernest Borgnine
Ernest Borgnine is a 91-year-old Hollywood legend of television and film, and is still going strong. He was the voice of the elderly superhero, “Mermaid Man,” in the Sponge Bob Square Pants cartoon series. This Academy Award winner stars in a National Eye Institute video concerning about macular degeneration.


Stephen King
Stephen King has published over 40 books, and he is one of the world’s most famous authors.


Don Knotts
Don Knotts was a legendary comedian and actor. He is most well known for his role as Barney Fife on the Andy Griffith Show.   


Brian McKeever
Brian McKeever is a skier and he has Stargardt’s disease, a form of macular degeneration that affects younger people.  He began skiing at the age 13 and began losing his vision when he was 19.