See Why Regular Eye Exams Can Benefit Seniors in Westerville, OH
As we age, routine comprehensive eye exams by an optometrist or ophthalmologist (eye doctor) become increasingly important. After the age of 60, seniors have an increased likelihood of developing an eye disease that can cause permanent damage to their eyesight.
In fact, many eye diseases have few or no early symptoms and will develop painlessly and seniors may not even notice the changes to their vision right away.
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The best way to prevent this is by keeping up with regularly scheduled eye exams and informing your doctor if you notice any changes to your vision. There are also some common eye diseases that seniors should know about, such as:
- 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.
- 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.
- Retinal detachment is a tearing or separation of the retina from the underlying tissue, and most often occurs spontaneously due to changes to the gel-like vitreous fluid that fills the back of the eye. Other causes include trauma to the eye or head, health problems like advanced diabetes, and inflammatory eye disorders. If not treated promptly, it can cause permanent vision loss.
Is There More To Know?
Now that you’ve made your appointment with an eye doctor, what can you expect from your appointment? 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 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:
- Aneurysm: Tell your eye specialist if you're experiencing blurry vision, eye pain, headaches, or loss of vision. You will also be checked for drooping eyelids (a sign that a blood vessel may have ruptured or is leaking), increased pressure in your eye, bleeding in the retina, and swelling of your optic nerve. Crossed eyes can be a sign of bleeding in the brain, possibly from an aneurysm, or even a stroke.
- Diabetes: Diabetes affects the small capillaries in the eye’s retina. These blood vessels may leak blood or a yellowish fluid, which may be discovered in an eye exam. If your eye specialist notices this, you may have a condition called diabetic retinopathy.
- 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 why you or your loved one should include regular eye exams in your health care, what makes Comfort Keepers® caregivers and personal care so special, or if you would like to schedule your free in home consultation please, contact us online anytime or call us.