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restored by using special eye glasses or some times with an implantation of an intraocular lens following surgery.

Glaucoma results from too much pressure inside the eye from the fluid within which damages the eye and causes a loss of vision. With an early diagnosis and treatment glaucoma can be controlled and prevented. The treatment consists of special eye drops, oral drugs, laser treatment and in some cases surgery. The disease rarely produces early symptoms and is painless. Owing to these reasons examination of the eyes regularly after 35 or 40 years should be a routine for its early detection.

Retinal defects result from Senile Macular Degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy and retinal detachment. Senile Macular Degeneration is a condition in which macula (a specialised part of the retina, responsible for sharp, central and reading vision) loses its function. Early signs include blurring of reading matter, loss of central vision, a dark spot in the centre of field of vision and distortion in vertical lines. Early detection of this disease is important since in some cases treatment is successful with laser techniques.

Diabetic retinopathy is a serious complication in the elderly. The blood vessels that nourish retina fail to do so or there may be a leak from the blood vessels which interfere with vision. In later stages new blood vessels may grow and release blood into the centre of the eye resulting in serious loss of vision.

Retinal detachment is a separation between inner and outer layers of retina. Detached retinas can be surgically re attached with a good or partial restoration of vision.

Joints

Arthritis means inflammation of joints. Many forms of arthritis are chronic, lasting for several years in older people. The two most common forms of arthritis are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is generally a mild condition causing no symptoms in many people and occasionally joint pains and stiffness in others. However, some people experience severe pain and are disabled. Wear and tear of the bony surfaces of the joint are responsible in some cases while in others hereditary factors and obesity are possible factors. Joint stiffness can be brief and it is relieved by activity but may recur upon rest. The large weight bearing joints of the body like knees, hips, spine are most often affected. Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammation of the joint membrane. It can be severe and crippling. It affects women more than men and usually occurs in the middle age. It can affect other body systems, but most frequently involves the joints of the fingers, wrists, elbows, hip, knee and ankle. Persistent swelling and pain in joints on both sides of the body are typical symptoms. Morning stiffness is common. Rheumatoid arthritis should be treated as soon as it is discovered, because inflammation of the joint membranes can damage the joints.

The treatment of these conditions consists of relief from pain and stiffness and to prevent joint destruction and to maintain mobility. Apart from the medicines prescribed by the specialists, physiotherapy is important. People with arthritis do not generally move around very much, but adequate rest can reduce inflammation. Too much of rest can cause joint stiffness. Daily exercises like walking or swimming can help joint mobility. Good posture can relieve joint strain. Rest and exercise are to be balanced. The warning signs of arthritis include any recurring joint svmptoms lasting

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