Seniors are at higher risk for vision problems
The risk of developing serious eye diseases and major vision problems increases with age.
For example, glaucoma affects 1 in 10 people over 80. And even people who previously had 20/20 vision can develop it.
Another top concern is age-related macular degeneration. It’s a leading cause of vision loss for people aged 50 and older.
That’s why it’s so important to be proactive about protecting your older adult’s sight.
Good vision helps them stay independent longer, reduces fall risk, and helps them continue to enjoy their favorite activities.
We explain how regular eye exams protect against vision loss, how to get financial help for eye care, and what a full eye exam should include.
Regular eye exams protect against vision loss
Because of the higher risk, the National Eye Institution recommends that adults over age 60 get a comprehensive eye exam with dilation every 1 – 2 years.
Regular exams help protect eye health because problems can be detected early – but be warned, the quick exams at the eyeglass store at the mall typically aren’t comprehensive enough.
If an eye disease is found during an exam, proper treatment can be started early to prevent blindness or major vision loss.
Financial help for vision care
Eye exams for seniors can be affordable even without insurance coverage. There are many state and national resources that help people with vision problems.
The National Eye Institute has a list of organizations that provide financial help for:
- Eye exams
- Eye surgery
- Eye-related prescription drugs
- Eye-related government programs
Social workers at local hospitals or other community organizations are another source for help.
They often know about local community resources that help provide financial or medical assistance.
What does a comprehensive eye exam include?
A comprehensive dilated eye exam has 4 parts:
- Dilation – Widening the pupils helps eye doctors see important tissues at the back of the eye, like the retina, the macula, and the optic nerve.
- Tonometry – A test that helps detect glaucoma by checking pressure inside the eye.
- Visual field test – This measures your side (peripheral) vision.
- Visual acuity test – A test where you read an eye chart, which helps eye doctors measure how well you see at different distances.
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By DailyCaring Editorial Team
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