August is National Eye Exam Month, a good reminder for seniors and the elderly to check their eyes. For most seniors and the elderly, seeing a doctor for an annual physical health checkup is automatic. But don’t forget your eyes!
Seeing an eye doctor means you can catch small problems with your eyes before they develop into bigger or more permanent problems. As you age, your risk heightens for vision issues, so stay on top of your eyesight by making that appointment.
Age Matters for Eye Exams
If you’re under the age of 60, you should have an eye exam every two years. If you’re 61 or older, be sure to get an eye exam every year.
Another reason to have your annual eye exam is an optometrist can discover other health issues. For example, an optometrist can identify signs of the early onset of glaucoma, diabetes, and both high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
If you’re over the age of 65, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that you have an annual eye exam that includes dilating your eyes. The eye dilation lets doctors have a better look at your retina and optic nerve. In turn, this helps them pinpoint any potential problems and have an early intervention.
5 Things an Eye Exam Can Detect
Here are five conditions that an annual eye exam can detect in older adults:
- Glaucoma—A glaucoma is actually a group of diseases. These diseases affect the optic nerve in the eye, possibly leading to serious vision loss. Catching glaucoma early can help prevent blindness.
- Macular degeneration—This is a condition related to age. It affects the light-sensitive tissue in the eye and may lead to blindness.
- Retinal tearing—For seniors and the elderly, they are at higher risk for small lacerations in the inner lining of the eye. This condition may lead to a dangerous retinal detachment or other conditions that affect vision, such as black spots or floaters.
- Cataracts—This is a condition that leads to a clouding of the eye’s lens. Surgery can typically correct cataracts.
- Diabetic retinopathy—This condition is related to diabetes and causes damage to the blood vessels in the back of the eye. It’s also the top cause of blindness in older adults.
A CARING-FIRST ENVIRONMENT
Senior living communities like Regency at Augusta Assisted Living & Memory Care are precisely that—a community. Residents become friends and even family, and a caring team is there to help them maintain their quality of life.
At Regency at Augusta Assisted Living & Memory Care, we offer both Assisted Living and Memory Care and we care with Honesty, Excellence, Accountability, Residents first and Teamwork. We like to call it Caring with H.E.A.R.T.™!
If you believe a senior living community would benefit your loved one, get in touch with us. Schedule a visit or download a brochure today!