Listen to the interview with Priscilla Rogers on KOA Radio.

Transcript of the Interview

Female Interviewer: So, Priscilla, tell me, when do we start seeing the aging affects of vision loss?

Pris Rogers: A lot of times we start seeing the aging effects of vision loss when we are around 40, when we notice that we are having problems. We take our glasses on and off, and we’re having problems focusing on things at a distance and so forth.

So, at that time, it’s a good idea to go ahead and establish contact with an eye care professional, and find out about what’s going on with your vision, and then you can have a long-lasting relationship with that person, so that they can help you get through the rest of your years. Because it’s really critical that people have eye appointments on a regular basis to get their eyes checked. And then, later on in life, as we start to have age-related eye conditions, you will already have that relationship with your doctor.

Interviewer: So, what are some of the things that they look for? — Macular degeneration?

Pris Rogers: Macular degeneration is one of the most common eye conditions that occur as a result of aging. What happens with macular degeneration is it can obstruct the central vision and cause problems with things like reading, seeing people’s faces, driving — just the major things in life!

It’s known for both being a wet and a dry type of condition. The wet macular degeneration is more serious because it causes some hemorrhaging that needs to be treated.

And smoking has been identified as a risk factor for AMD. So, that’s something that people who smoke need to be aware of.

Interviewer: A lot of times your employer does not cover vision. And so it’s, sadly, maybe one of the reasons why people don’t go and see a doctor.

Pris Rogers: That’s right, but people need to do that, and there is some help for people who don’t have coverage. On our website we talk about some of these eye conditions and we give some ideas for people who need assistance in getting their eyes checked and so forth because we know it’s such a serious thing.

Interviewer: You would think that, at this point, you know, in time people aren’t vain about the fact that they might need glasses. But, does that still happen?

Pris Rogers: Of course it does. (Laughs) We’re always vain about things but people just need to be aware that, you know, they do need to follow up and get that prescription taken care of because everybody wants to continue to be independent. They want to be able to drive and do the things they’ve always wanted to do. And, unless they follow through, they might not be able to, if they end up with one of these eye conditions.

Interviewer: What signs should we be looking for that require that we go see a doctor?

Pris Rogers: If you begin to have sudden or blurry vision, or recurring pain in or around your eye, or double vision, or flashes of light, seeing halos, or have sensitivity to light or glare — all of these can be signs of vision loss and you really need to go see your doctor.

If you don’t have one, and you have things like a curtain coming over your eyes, or that pain I talked about, or the real sensitivity to light with the flashes of light — you need to go to get your eyes checked right away! You might even need to go to the emergency room if you can’t get in pretty soon to see your eye care professional!

These are all signs that we have on the website and we also have questions there that you need to ask your doctor, so that you don’t forget. Often, when we’re going into an emergency situation, we don’t remember all the things that we should ask.

So, we’ve come up with a list that people can check there at and take that with them.

Interviewer: Thank you, Dr. Rogers. We appreciate all that info. Have a great day!

Pris Rogers: Well, thank you! And I hope people will visit and find out how to live with vision loss.