Four Reasons Why Seniors Need Annual Eye Exams
Most seniors recognize the importance of an annual physical, especially if they have a chronic health condition that requires a physician to monitor. However, many seniors overlook the value of an annual eye exam. They defer, waiting until they feel their prescription glasses need an adjustment. They also might not want to pay for an eye exam that’s not typically covered by Medicare if they haven’t noticed any changes in their vision.
However, an annual eye exam more than a vision screening. What seniors might not realize is that an optometrist or ophthalmologist can detect more than a change in vision. They can often identify other health conditions as they take a closer look into the depths of your eyes.
August is National Eye Exam Month. It’s a great reminder to schedule that annual eye exam and take control of the health of your eyes. If you’re a senior and still not convinced that you need an annual eye exam, here are four reasons why you should reconsider.
Prevent Eye Conditions
The first reason why seniors need annual eye exams is to prevent certain eye conditions that are common with age. While not all vision decline is avoidable, some vision decline can be prevented or delayed with an annual eye exam. Risk for eye problems only increases with age, so seniors over the age of 65 need to prioritize an annual eye exam. Often, early intervention is key to treating some eye conditions, such as glaucoma, in order to prevent blindness.
Detect and Treat Common Conditions in Seniors
Another reason why seniors need annual eye exams is to allow their optometrist or ophthalmologist to detect and treat common conditions that are found in seniors. Seniors are most at risk for cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, retinal tearing, and glaucoma. When your eye doctor dilates your eyes, they are able to take a closer look at your optic nerve and retina so they can assess and evaluate. They can then determine if there are any problems and provide treatment to prevent further damage. Then, at your next annual appointment, your eye doctor can reevaluate your eye health and provide treatment as needed.
Reveal Other Health Conditions
As your optometrist or ophthalmologist takes a closer look into your eyes, they are also evaluating other health conditions that seniors may not even realize are linked to the eye. Your eyes can reveal other health conditions common in seniors, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and conditions linked to certain autoimmune diseases. It’s not uncommon for an eye doctor to detect other chronic health conditions that your primary care physician may have missed.
Screen for Cognitive Decline
Finally, seniors need annual eye exams so that they can be screened for cognitive decline. Studies have shown that there is a correlation between retinal vascular changes and an increased risk for cognitive decline and dementia. It appears that moderate to severe retinopathy is associated with a greater cognitive decline, as opposed to seniors who have no retinopathy. An annual eye exam can help detect changes in the earlier stages and treatment can be provided in order to slow the progression of the disease. Plus, it’s always a great idea to have another set of eyes on one’s health.
If you are a senior and are struggling with vision loss, know that Visiting Angels Punta Gorda is here for you. We offer a variety of senior home care services so that seniors can remain safe and independent in the comfort of their own home. Perhaps your low vision prevents you from staying connected with family and friends during the coronavirus pandemic. Our compassionate caregivers can assist you with technology so that you can visit virtually and reconnect with loved ones. We can also provide assistance with bathing, dressing, meal preparation, and light housekeeping. Please contact us today by calling 941-347-8288 Charlotte County or 239-226-1620 Lee County, so that we can learn more about your situation.
Visiting Angels of Punta Gorda, FL