As we age, our eyesight tends to get weaker. It is important to get frequent eye checkups, and it becomes especially important as an older adult. August is National Eye Exam Month, so now is the perfect time for seniors to stay on top of their eye health.
The eyes are one of the most used parts of the body, and unlike many muscles or joints, they cannot be replaced. A comprehensive eye exam performed by an optometrist can catch early signs of eye diseases. Eye disease is best treated when caught early, as the damage can be irreversible as it goes further.
Common Eye Diseases
- Glaucoma - Glaucoma refers to a group of eye disorders that damage the optic nerve. It is typically caused by pressure inside the eye and can lead to permanent vision loss and blindness.
- Cataracts - Cataracts develop as cloudy areas in the front lens of the eye. They keep light from passing through the retina, causing blurry vision. If cataracts become large or thick, they can be removed with surgery.
- Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) - AMD is characterized by the loss of cells in the area that is responsible for details like reading or facial recognition. It contributes to vision loss, but won’t cause total blindness.
What To Expect In Your Eye Exam
In an eye exam, your doctor will check your history for any hereditary eye disease or any risk factors. Some of the things they will test include
- Vision - Your doctor will measure your vision precisely, testing for any sight irregularities and potentially prescribe glasses or contacts. They will also check your peripheral vision and your pupil’s response to light.
- Coordination - The doctor will test the coordination of your eye muscles by moving a light in a pattern to test your eyes ability to move together.
- The interior and back of the eye - The doctor will dilate your eyes, and then use an ophthalmoscope to look through your retina and optic nerve to spot any signs of disease.
- Fluid Pressure - The doctor will test the pressure inside of your eye, which is often an early indicator of Glaucoma.
How Often To Get Your Eyes Checked
Everyone should get regular eye exams, but the frequency varies by age. The recommended frequency for adults are:
- Adults aged 55 to 64 years old need to get an eye exam every 1 to 3 years.
- Adults older than 65 should be examined every 1 to 2 years
Getting frequent eye exams is an essential part of anyone’s health, especially that of a senior. Seniors are more susceptible to developing eye problems or diseases. If eye diseases aren’t caught early, they could cause irreparable damage.
If your loved one needs someone to escort them to the eye doctor, Gallagher Home Care offers companions who can take and accompany them to their appointment. Don’t let your loved one skip their eye exam this month!
Gallagher Home Care is a Medicare-certified home health agency that serves across 8 Pennsylvania counties. Our employees are dedicated to providing exceptional, compassionate care to seniors while allowing them to keep their independence. We provide companion care, housekeeping, home safety monitoring, and even provide free in-home evaluations for new families. Request an appointment online or call (412) 453-8082 to learn more.