Senior Eye Exams in Cumberland, MD- What’s The Big Deal?
As we age, regular eye exams become an increasingly important part of our health care. After turning 60 there is an increased likelihood that you or your loved one will develop an eye disease that may permanently affect your, or their, vision. The way to prevent this is by routinely seeing an optometrist or ophthalmologist (eye doctor) for a comprehensive dilated senior eye exam.
Many eye diseases will develop painlessly over time, have few or no early warning signs, and you may not even notice changes to your vision until the disease has progressed!
For this reason, it is important to be aware of any changes to your vision as well as, some of the most common eye diseases that affect seniors. Here are a few:
- 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.
- Dry eye is a condition in which a person produces too few or poor-quality tears. Tears maintain the health of the front surface of the eye and provide clear vision. Dry eye is a common and often chronic problem, particularly in seniors.
Give us a call at (240) 242-5966 to learn more!
What Else Should I Know?
So, you’ve scheduled your exam, now what? Well, during your senior 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 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.
- 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.
- Hypertension: Blood vessels in the eye may exhibit bends, kinks, or tears, which may indicate high blood pressure, a known risk factor for heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and other illnesses, including blindness.
- Autoimmune disorders: If the eye is inflamed, this may be a sign of Lupus or another disorder.
If you’d like to learn more about the importance of a senior eye exam, what makes Comfort Keepers® brand of senior care services unique, or if you would like to schedule your free in home consultation please, contact us online anytime or call us at (240) 242-5966.