Even if you ate carrots every day of your life, when you reach your golden years, you may still find yourself experiencing vision changes. That is a normal part of aging, unfortunately. That doesn’t mean you need to compromise your lifestyle, however – as long as you protect your vision by having regular senior eye exams.
While many age-related eye health problems have some warning signs, some do not have any early symptoms. Even those that affect your vision can do so in such a gradual way that you might not notice. This is why regular senior eye exams are so important once you reach 60 years of age.
There are a number of conditions that can be diagnosed during senior eye exams, including diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachment, cataracts, glaucoma and dry eye. Some of these conditions can lead to permanent vision loss if untreated.
Once you enter into your retirement years, it is recommended that senior eye exams be performed every year. Many seniors lose their sight completely because they are too afraid to go see an optometrist or because they fear losing their driving privileges. This is obviously counterproductive because blindness takes away driving, as well, along with the quality of life and enjoyment of all other activities. If you are over 60 or you have parents that are, please call us at Dr. Miller & Dr. Tilis Family Optometry for an appointment. We care about our Newmarket, ON seniors and maintaining their quality of life. We treat your family like our family!
Having a routine eye exam is quite important at all ages from 6 months and up, but senior eye exams are among the most critical of all in terms of early detection of serious issues. At Dr. Miller & Dr. Tilis Family Optometry, we understand the unique challenges that our senior patients in the Newmarket, ON area face. These issues may include:
- Glaucoma – This condition has literally no pain or even early symptoms to let you know that you are headed for a loss of peripheral vision or even a complete loss of vision caused by a buildup of fluid that puts pressure on the optic nerve. Senior eye exams are designed to catch glaucoma in the initial stages so it can be treated properly.
- Diabetic Retinopathy – You also won’t notice any early warning signs of this disease, which is why it is a leading cause of blindness in the elderly. Senior eye exams that include dilation can identify this disease before it develops fully.
- Cataracts – Senior eye exams also check for the progression of cataracts, which, unlike other problems, do have noticeable symptoms. If your vision is becoming blurry or foggy, or you notice an increased sensitivity to light, you may have cataracts forming. It is a routine surgery to remove cataracts, and this can be done at whatever point you are ready for improved vision.
- Age–Related Macular Degeneration – This is a condition that can be hereditary or caused by environmental factors, such as UV light and cigarette smoke. Early detection of macular pigment changes goes a long way to preserve vision with vitamin supplementation, dietary, and lifestyle changes, as well as many new medical treatments.
As a senior, there are other things about your health that you should keep on top of in order to preserve your vision. One such disease is hypertension. If this goes untreated, it can damage the blood vessels in your eye and lead to damage to the retina. Senior eye exams can alert us that you have hypertensive retinopathy before it becomes a critical problem. We recommend our senior eye exams be done at least once a year. Give us a call to schedule yours!