Growing old is nowadays considered a good thing. Most seniors are actively redefining what retirement should be. Most are spending their latter years rediscovering themselves. However, growing old is not always so simple. This is the case when it comes to health. Some aches here and some pains there, seniors experience a great deal of challenges when it comes to health.
As with any other form of health, seniors have the greatest risk of developing vision problems. Most serious eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration occur in seniors. In many cases, seniors neglect their eye care and vision problems, assuming that these problems are normal at their age.
Importance of Eye Exams
The importance of eye exams cannot be stressed enough in the case of seniors. Regular screenings and checks should be the norm rather than the exception. In addition to early diagnosis of vision problems, eye exams could also help unearth other serious problems, including diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and carotid artery blockages.
What Tests are Important to Seniors?
During an eye exam for seniors, there are a number of tests that the optometrist will carry out to check for certain serious conditions. These conditions include:
1. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
When it comes to blindness among seniors, this is the leading cause. However, when diagnosed and treated early, the progression of this condition can be slowed down significantly. There are two different types of AMD, each requiring a different kind of treatment. The treatment options include intra-ocular injections, dietary supplements and medication.
This is another serious condition affecting seniors. All too often, this condition goes undetected and has caused many people to lose their sight. Glaucoma is caused by the occurrence of too much pressure in the eyes. When detected early, this condition can be effectively managed and vision loss prevented.
3. Diabetic retinopathy
This is a condition that affects people with diabetes. It is a leading cause of vision loss among diabetic seniors. This condition occurs when the tiny blood vessels that supply the retina with blood become damaged and fluids enter the eye. Treatment options for the condition include exercise, diet and surgery.
This is a condition that most aging people cannot avoid. The condition involves clouding and yellowing of the lens. Updating your prescription regularly can help delay surgery.
5. Refractive errors
Vision tends to undergo change as one ages. It becomes worse with age. A yearly eye exam is recommended so as to maintain updated eyewear prescriptions.
Why Do Seniors Avoid Eye exams?
Some seniors unfortunately tend to neglect their eye care. This is mainly in part due to low/fixed income and inadequate vision insurance. However, luckily living in Ontario with OHIP coverage seniors age 65 and over have access to insured comprehensive eye exam once every 12 months and follows up visits within the year if indicated by your optometrist. If you believe you’re due for your annual Eye Exam call one of our locations today to book your appointment.