How Can An Eye Exam Help My Health?
No matter what your eye health was like when you were young, the fact is that as you age, regular comprehensive dilated eye exams from an optometrist or ophthalmologist (eye doctor become more important. After the age of 60, seniors have an increased chance of developing an eye disease that could permanently affect their vision.
In fact, you may not even notice changes to your vision right way, as many eye diseases develop painlessly and have few or no early symptoms.
For this reason you should always inform your doctor if you notice any changes to your vision! There are also common eye diseases that every senior should know about, including:
- Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases characterized by damage to the optic nerve, resulting in vision loss. People with a family history of glaucoma and older adults have a higher risk. Glaucoma can be painless, with no symptoms. It can take away peripheral (side) vision.
- Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease that affects the macula (the center of the light-sensitive retina at the back of the eye) and causes central vision loss, while peripheral (side) vision remains unaffected. The macula allows us to see fine detail and colors. Activities like reading, driving, watching TV, and recognizing faces all require good central vision.
- Cataracts are cloudy or opaque areas in the normally clear lens of the eye. Depending upon their size and location, they can interfere with normal vision. Usually cataracts develop in both eyes, but one may be worse than the other. Cataracts can cause blurry vision, decreased contrast sensitivity, dulling of colors, and increased sensitivity to glare.
Give us a call at (334) 530-6293 to learn more!
What Else Should I Know?
Now that you know why you should keep up with your regular eye exams, what can you expect when you get there? Well, during your eye exam, your doctor will test your depth perception, eye alignment, visual acuity (sharpness), and your eye movement. They will also use special eye drops to dilate your pupils (make them larger) so that they can see the inside your your eyes.
Tip: be sure to bring an extra pair of sunglasses if you or your loved one know that they will be getting their pupils dilated.
Other diseases that your eye doctor may be able to spot include:
- Thyroid disease: One of the signs of thyroid disease are bulging eyes or protruding eyeballs. This condition is also known as Graves Disease.
- Cancer: Just like you can get freckles and melanoma on your skin, you can also get skin cancer of the eye. If you see a speck in your eye, ask your eye specialist to examine it. He or she will also check your eye color and pattern to make sure everything looks normal.
- Multiple Sclerosis: Most eye tics are benign, but can also be an early indicator of neurological diseases like multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s. Your eye specialist can help with early diagnoses by checking for anomalies in your retina and optic nerve.
- Vitamin A Deficiency: If you're not getting enough fruits and veggies (from foods like sweet potatoes, greens, cantaloupe, and carrots), you may develop night blindness and vision loss. Your eye specialist will check the surface of your eye for damage. Mention if you're having trouble seeing at night.
If you’d like to learn more about how eye exams can benefit senior health, how Comfort Keepers® can help you or your loved one develop a healthy routine that promotes independence, or if you’d like to schedule your free in home consultation please, contact us online anytime or call us at (334) 530-6293.