As people age, it is normal to experience vision changes. While some changes may be harmless, others may indicate underlying eye conditions. Older adults need regular, routine eye examinations with their optometrist to detect issues early on. This exam can help identify eye conditions quickly and efficiently. Early detection allows patients to begin treatment before their condition progresses and affects their vision.
One of the most common eye conditions in older adults is cataracts. This condition occurs when the proteins in the lens begin to clump together, causing vision to become blurry and fade. It can be detected during routine eye exams when the optometrist checks your vision using an eye chart. They may also conduct a dilated eye exam to check for cloudiness in the lens.
This eye condition occurs when there’s an increase in pressure within the eye. If left untreated, it can cause damage to the optic nerve, leading to partial or complete blindness. During routine eye exams, optometrists check for glaucoma by measuring the pressure in your eye using a tonometer. They may also check for any changes to your optic nerve.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
AMD is a leading cause of vision loss in older adults. It occurs when the macula, a small area of the retina in the back of the eye, deteriorates over time. Optometrists may use a visual acuity test during routine eye exams to check for changes to your central or “straight ahead” vision. They may also use a special device called an ophthalmoscope to examine the back of your eye and look for any signs of AMD.
Diabetes can damage blood vessels in the retina, resulting in a condition called diabetic retinopathy. During routine eye examinations, optometrists can detect diabetic retinopathy by looking for changes in the blood vessels in the back of the eye. This condition can lead to severe vision problems if left untreated. Regular eye exams are essential for people with diabetes to prevent retinal damage.
Routine adult eye examinations can help detect and treat eye conditions early on. Be sure to schedule an appointment with an optometrist at least once a year. During the exam, your optometrist will perform several tests and checks to ensure your eyes are healthy. If you experience any changes in your vision, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment to see your optometrist. Early detection and treatment can save your vision.
Contact a professional to learn more about adult routine eye exams.