A regular eye exam is critical to your ocular health. Eye exams are quick, routine appointments that can not only detect age-related vision problems at their earliest stages, but can often also catch the onset of other diseases.
The Optometry Times reports that although many serious eye diseases often show no symptoms, eye exams allow doctors to catch early signs of macular degeneration or cataracts, which are diseases that can cause serious damage if they’re not caught early. Considered to be windows to a person’s overall health, the eyes can also reveal symptoms of diabetes, high blood pressure, glaucoma, and high cholesterol.
Regular eye exams also help ensure that you are able to see as clearly as possible. Clear vision enables your independence, and may allow you to feel safer while you drive, walk, watch movies, or even spend time with friends and family. An updated prescription can also reduce your risk of taking a serious fall. Let’s look at some of the steps you can take to keep your eyes clear and healthy for years to come.
Maintaining Your Vision
- Schedule regular eye exams. Scheduling an eye exam every one to two years is the best way to stay up-to-date on your eye health. Eye exams can detect glaucoma, which can impair one’s vision or cause total blindness. Eye exams are also the best way to monitor cataracts. If you experience blurry vision, a glare, double vision, or if you notice that colors appear faded, be sure to see your doctor. While women are generally more prone to glaucoma and cataracts than men, it’s equally important that everyone see an eye doctor with some regularity.
- Turn up the lights. People with low vision need brighter lighting in their living areas. The symptoms of low vision include loss of central and/or peripheral vision, blurred vision, and night blindness. Older people who have trouble recognizing faces, reading, driving, or even shopping should consult an eye doctor who can check on any underlying conditions and advise on low vision aids and devices that can enhance reading and other daily tasks.
- Avoid injuries to your eyes. Your risk of falling increases as you grow older due to changes in your vision and balance. On top of normal wear that occurs over time, it’s not hard to hurt your eyes, especially when you’re doing home improvement projects or spending a day in the garden. Every home should have a pair of safety glasses that are easily accessible for days when you’re doing hands-on work. In addition, it’s good to keep a pair of sunglasses handy to protect your eyes against potentially damaging sun rays.
As adults reach 65, the best way to preserve eye health is to be proactive about your vision. Ensure that you set up an eye exam every one to two years, and check out these reading tips that will help you learn more about keeping your eyes healthy.