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The Ageing Eye

Scientific Diagram - Cutaway of the human eye with labelsSight can be snatched away by a variety of assaults as we age. Three such threats are cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration. If you are older than 50, you are at risk and must be vigilant, because age is the main risk factor for these diseases.

Half the population between 65 and 74 has cataracts; after age 75, about 70 percent do. And glaucoma is most common in people over 60.

So as you grow older, grow wiser too. Learn what steps you can take to prevent vision problems and what to do about them.

For many of us, less severe sight ailments begin around age 40 with the onset of presbyopia. Not to worry, it doesn’t signify a disease; it’s simply the inability to focus on objects up close, and it’s readily corrected with a pair of 99-baht reading glasses (surgery to extend arm length is a less appealing option).

Other age-related vision changes, however, usually are diseases that do require medical intervention. The most common of these is cataracts. Most retired expats have various stages of cataracts, a condition readily corrected through surgery. For most, there is no urgency; cataracts usually progress slowly.

Eye diseases that are not so benign in older folk include glaucoma and macular degeneration.

The good news is that you can forestall sight deterioration and reduce the risk of eye diseases through healthy lifestyle--including diet, exercise, avoiding bright sunlight, and not smoking.

Equally important is the need for periodic eye exams. In general, healthy people in their 20s and 30s who have no vision problems should see an ophthalmologist every five to 10 years. Between the ages of 40 and 65, get an exam every two to four years, and after age 65 about every year or two. If you wear glasses, have a family history of eye disease, or have a chronic ailment that puts you at greater risk of eye disease, such as diabetes, have your eyes checked more frequently.

For a closer look (no pun intended) at some common eye conditions, let’s begin with presbyopia, which is simply difficulty focusing on objects up close. This is due to hardening of the lens inside your eye, which routinely accompanies aging.

For a time, you can compensate for this change by just holding reading material farther away from your eyes, but eventually you will need reading glasses, multifocal contact lenses or multifocal eyeglasses. Some corrective surgery options for presbyopia also are available, such as laser eye surgery (LASIK) and conductive keratoplasty. Presbyopia generally worsens with advancing years. You may notice the need for more frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescriptions, and that you need one pair of eyeglasses for reading a book and another for computer work, for example.

More serious is cataracts--the clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye, as if you were looking through frosted glass. It typically develops gradually over a period of years. Roughly half of all 65-year-olds have some degree of cataract formation; the percentage is even higher among those in their 70s.

While modern cataract surgery is safe and effective (100 percent of vision lost to cataract formation usually is restored), there is no urgency to undergo surgery immediately upon being diagnosed with the condition. On the other hand, it is better to have cataracts removed before they advance too far.

Cataract surgery involves removing the lens of the eye and replacing it with a plastic lens. However, some individuals are not bothered too much by their cataracts and are able to manage by changing eyeglass prescriptions and protecting their eyes from too much sunlight; exposure to sun speeds up the growth of cataracts, particularly problematic here in the tropics. So wear sunglasses that protect the eyes from UV light, which also helps prevent glaucoma, macular degeneration, and eye cancer (not to mention crow’s feet).

In contrast, it’s imperative that glaucoma be diagnosed and treated early. The disease causes the loss of peripheral (side) vision due to optic nerve damage usually associated with intense pressure on the eye itself. Your risk of developing glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness, increases with each decade after age 40, from around 1 percent in your 40s to up to 12 percent in your 80s. To prevent total blindness it is important to diagnose glaucoma early through regular exams by an eye doctor.

The damage caused by glaucoma is permanent, but treatments are available to prevent further vision loss. The most common treatment is daily use of eye-drops to lower eye pressure. In some cases, laser and conventional surgery are also options.

Perhaps the most serious and perilous of all eye diseases is age-related macular degeneration (AMD)--the leading cause of irreversible vision loss among the elderly. It begins with the slow loss of central vision and ultimately can lead to the inability to read, drive or recognize familiar faces.

The health of the macula (an oval spot in the center of the retina that's essential for central vision) depends on a very rich blood supply; anything that interferes with circulation can cause damage to the macula and decrease its ability to function.

Unhealthy diet and lifestyle choices can reduce the supply of oxygen and vital nutrients to the eye, eventually leading to the death of cells in the retina and macula. To help prevent macular degeneration and other vision problems, it is vital that you quit smoking, cut back on sugar, white flour, fried foods, and trans-fats, and load up on antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E and lutein. Particularly, eat lots of dark, leafy green vegetables most days, take vitamins, eat fish, take omega-3 supplements, exercise daily, maintain a healthy weight, eat fruit and nuts every day, reduce intake of refined carbohydrates, and control blood pressure and cholesterol.

Such lifestyle guidelines are appropriate for everyone and even more so for older readers. Once again, have your eyes examined by a qualified eye doctor. And if you can’t quit smoking, have your head examined.

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From the moment you enter the auditorium as you are shown to your seats by friendly smiling uniformed ushers it is impossible not to be swept along with the general air of enthusiasm. The music is rousing, the stage massive and the custom built tracking which provides the technical support for the overhead spectacles, impressive.

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Why is it that every January people bore you with their New Year’s resolutions that you know that they are never going to keep to? Ludicrous ideas about eating more vegan salads, not stepping on the cracks in the pavement, or perhaps only going to work when there is a Z in the day.

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NTCC

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The Athenee Hotel, recently elevated to a Luxury Collection Hotel, in Bangkok – was the venue for the NTCC Innovation Awards.

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MEDICAL INSURANCE

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When people come and live in Thailand one of the things that is often neglected is medical insurance. In their home country they are so used to rolling up at their doctor or hospital and not having to pay anything out of their own pocket

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Back to the roots.

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For many years I have been an advocate of using a locally based offshore adviser who has roots here, and has been living here for at least a decade, owns property here, has a Thai wife or partner and who has committed his future to living here.

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The Thai Tourism Minister, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, plans another rebranding exercise for Pattaya and four other destinations, with the aim of making it widely known that Pattaya is a family friendly quality beach resort as opposed to one known for its nightlife.

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LETTERS FROM READERS

LETTERS FROM READERS

Hi Pattaya Trader – Thank you for an always very interesting read. Is there any way you could publish this – I would dearly like to help the Mabprachan Animal shelter – I know they are not the only ones looking after stay and abandoned animals, but they have my undying gratitude for the way they helped me Yours very sincerely, Rick Walton Soi 11 Thappraya Road Jomtien 0892 465 210

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Thailand is one of the top countries in the world where expats go to find an easier, more fulfilling life. One of these reasons is the tropical climate, which enables constant outdoor relaxation that’s simply not possible in many other parts of the world.

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More and more the master bedroom is seen not just a place to sleep but almost a home within a home. An all-in-one space where you can enjoy a calm,serene retreat.

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TRENDS FOR BATHROOMS IN 2017

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Bathroom designers tell us that 2017 is going to be marked by the return to the organic and all-natural. Bathroom style”s direction will be: super clean colours, seamless lines and useful, simple arrangement of space with the dash of natural coziness and elegance.

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TRENDS FOR 2017

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This is the cheery shade of green you'll see in home decor, fashion and commercial design in 2017. Named the 2017 Pantone Colour of the year "Greenery" is meant to represent refreshment and revitalization.

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Managing Your Online Reputation

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It's fair to say that more business than ever is conducted online. People use Google and the other search engines as a matter of course.

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Off-plan condos VS re-sales and pre-owned apartments

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The Property market in Pattaya has always been driven by new developments, with off-plan and under construction condos offering payment terms over the period of time of construction.

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Copacabana Beach Jomtien held a great Pre Launch Party

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Copacabana Beach Jomtien held a great Pre Launch Party

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Pattaya Market 2017 Overview

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In my opinion, this year was very important for the Pattaya Property Market. As a property practitioner and certified specialist, working here since 2008, I have seen many ups and downs in the market.

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How does your business fare in China?

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With Chinese New Year nearly upon us on the 16th February I wonder how many look up their fortune and see how their animal horoscope will fare in the year of the dog ?

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The (Ever) Changing Face of SEO in 2018

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The digital landscape moves at a frantic pace. Stand still and you are likely to be overtaken by others that…. Aren’t!

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The Day AFTER Pattaya Real Estate Prices Bottomed

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As a Certified International Property Specialist with my own real estate business it would seem that I am locked into the position of always maintaining a positive outlook on the real estate markets in which I work.

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Mentoring – A concept worth implementing

Mentoring – A concept worth implementing

Mentoring is a voluntary process where a generally more experienced person helps another prepare for future growth by advising on developing relevant skillsets.

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Marketing Wrap Up - 2017 - Driving More Online Business

Marketing Wrap Up - 2017 - Driving More Online Business

As we reach the end of the year it is time to review some of the key points that we looked at throughout 2017. Those who have read this regular feature will recall that we have covered a variety of topics aimed at driving more new business your way. In this article we will recap on the main areas and (attempt to) reinforce the benefits of marketing in this way.

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Huntsman IndiaThai Co., Ltd

Huntsman IndiaThai Co., Ltd

Huntsman IndiaThai Co., Ltd is a name which many people trust in regards to Property/Business Management in Pattaya.

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Bright Ideas for Retargeting your Website Visitors

Bright Ideas for Retargeting your Website Visitors

Retargeting isn’t new. It’s been around for a few years now; however, I am always surprised that more business owners don’t take advantage of this power advertising mechanism.

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