Five Reasons routine eye exams are especially important in advanced age

Picture of glasses being held in front of an eye exam letter chart

Unfortunately, many older adults typically underestimate how critical a yearly, routine eye exam is for their health. After all, if their glasses are working fine, they may believe that they can avoid the expense of what they believe is an unnecessary visit to the eye doctor. However, something that you must keep in mind is that a routine eye exam isn’t important just to check vision but it can also help identify a variety of physical health problems such as diabetes and MS.

Following is a quick summary of a few ocular and systemic conditions that can be found during a yearly, routine eye exam.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a progressive and degenerative optic nerve disease.  This can lead to a loss in peripheral vision as well as eventual total vision loss. Due to the fact that glaucoma typically has no early pain or other symptoms to let you know there is something going on, a routine eye exam is critical to identify this condition.

Cataracts

This is another very common eye condition seen in older patients.  As we age, the lens of the eye becomes less flexible and cloudy, which results in blurry/foggy vision as well as sensitivity to light. If a routine eye exam uncovers visually significant cataracts, the condition can be treated with an outpatient surgery.

Diabetic Retinopathy

This is another condition of the eye that typically has no warning signs early on. However, unfortunately, it is the most common cause of adult blindness in North America.  Diabetic retinopathy is the result of retinal blood vessel changes. The blood vessels end up swelling and therefore leaking fluid. By having routine eye exams, including dilation of the eye, your optometrist can identify this condition early on.

Hypertensive retinopathy

Hypertension can cause damage to many body parts including the heart, kidneys, and to the blood vessels in the retina.  This results in narrowing of the retinal blood vessels, which leads to bleeding in the back of the eye and ultimately swelling of the optical nerve in advanced stages. Routine eye exams can help to identify this condition early on.

If you have a particular concern and would like to see one of our doctors for an examination or a consultation please contact our 360 Eyecare clinic to book an appointment with one of our optometrists today.

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