If you’re a senior with excellent vision (or an effective glasses prescription), you might not see the need for regular trips to the eye doctor. After all, you can see just fine – so why should you spend the time and money to get regular eye exams? The truth is that eye exams for seniors can help identify and treat a wide variety of debilitating eye conditions before they impact your vision. If you’re still doubting the importance of annual eye exams, scroll down to learn more.
The Importance of Eye Exams for Seniors
Eye Exams and Early Detection
Even if you’re one of the lucky few with seemingly perfect vision, you can still benefit from eye exams. This is especially true after you hit age 55, when you may start becoming more susceptible to eye-related health conditions. Many of the following conditions are treatable, but they do require early detection for the most effective treatment:
- Cataracts: Cataracts are a condition resulting from the lens of the eye becoming less flexible, which usually happens with age. Changes to the eye’s lens lead to symptoms like blurred vision and light sensitivity. Fortunately, cataracts can usually be corrected with a simple procedure – but untreated cataracts can lead to permanent vision loss.
- Macular Degeneration: Seniors are especially prone to this common eye condition, which can cause blindness over time. Unfortunately, macular degeneration can go unnoticed until it’s far too late for medical intervention. If you have a family history of macular degeneration or notice small blind spots in the center of your vision, make sure to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.
- Glaucoma: Glaucoma is the result of built-up pressure within the eye that damages the optic nerve. Glaucoma doesn’t usually cause early symptoms, but it can lead to complete vision loss. A yearly vision exam is your best bet to catch glaucoma in its early, treatable stages.
- Hypertensive Retinopathy: Did you know that hypertension, or high blood pressure, can damage your vision? The trouble is that many adults don’t even realize they have high blood pressure. A yearly eye exam gives your doctor the chance to catch hypertension before it permanently damages your vision.
Other Benefits of Trips to the Eye Doctor
While regular eye exams can detect common eye-related problems, your eye doctor may also notice other conditions in their early stages. Take dementia, for example: Research suggests a link between mild retinal vascular changes and cognitive decline in seniors. Your eye doctor may also notice the early symptoms of diabetes, one of the leading cause of blindness in adults. Both dementia and diabetes are more common in adults over the age of 65, which is just another reason why seniors should make regular eye exams a priority.
As you work to maintain your quality of life throughout your golden years, make sure to prioritize regular eye exams. As a rule of thumb, adults over 65 should have their eyes checked at least every two years, and annual exams are important for adults with preexisting conditions like diabetes.
Remember that your eye doctor can be a fantastic advocate as you work toward lifelong wellness.
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