The Aging Special Senses

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  • Topic: Ear, Sensorineural hearing loss, Retina
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Vanessa McClain
Anatomy and Physiology GE 258
Unit 9. Assignment 2. The Aging Special Senses
Thursday, November 17, 2011

1.) Age-related Macular Disease – Is a disease associated with aging that gradually destroys sharp, central vision. Central vision is needed for seeing objects clearly and for common daily tasks such as reading and driving. AMD affects the macula, the part of the eye that allows you to see fine detail. There are two forms of age-related macular degeneration: Dry form and Wet form. The dry form is characterized by the presence of yellow deposits, called drusen, in the macula. A few drusen may not cause change in vision; however, as they grow in size and increase in number, they may lead to a dimming or distortion of vision that people find most noticeable when they read. In more advanced stages, there is also a thinning of the light-sensitive layer of cells in the macula leading to atrophy, or tissue death. In the atrophic form, patients may have blind spots in the center of their vision. The wet form is characterized by the growth of abnormal blood vessels from the choroid underneath the macula. These blood vessels leak blood and fluid into the retina, causing distortion of vision that makes straight lines look wavy, as well as blind spots and loss of central vision. They eventually scar, leading to permanent loss of central vision. They affect daily life in that there is struggle to do housework, studying, shopping, enjoying leisure activities and interests such as reading. 2.) Glaucoma – Is a disease in which damage to the optic nerve leads to progressive, irreversible vision loss because the aqueous humor does not flow out of the eye properly and fluid pressure builds up over time causing damage to the optic nerve. It is the second leading cause of blindness. It affects one’s daily life such as driving or playing certain sports . It causes contrast sensitivity, problems with glare, and light sensitivity which...
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