Maintaining eye health and proper vision care is critical to healthy aging. As we age, the risk to our vision increases, but these changes do not have to affect your lifestyle. Knowing when to seek professional eye help can ensure you safeguard and protect your vision against many common eye diseases that may have no early signs or symptoms. It is highly recommended that at the age of 65 or older, a comprehensive eye exam should be performed annually, which allows you to consistently keep up with any changes with your vision as well as to detect any other common eye problems amongst seniors.
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How Do Senior Eye Exams Prevent Vision Loss And Detect Eye Diseases?
Just like your body, your vision and eyes change over time. Common problems such as difficulties seeing close distances or being unable to read in dim lighting start to progress in individuals from the ages of 41 to 60 and will continue to worsen if not corrected as soon as possible. By detecting eye diseases early on such as diabetic eye disease, age-related macular disease, presbyopia, and glaucoma, they can be effectively managed, saving your vision without disrupting your lifestyle. Annual eye exams can also detect other health concerns such as heart disease and cancer by observing blood vessels in your retina which help indicate your body's overall health.
Are Seniors Covered For Annual Eye Exams In Alberta?
Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) offers an Optical Assistance for Seniors program for those aged 65 and older that covers:
- Prescription eyeglasses, including lenses and frames from a recognized optical provider
- One complete eye exam
- One partial exam
- One diagnostic procedure
This provides many individuals who are on a fixed income the ability to seek professional eye care services to care for their aging eyes.
Before booking your senior’s eye exam appointment with your Calgary Optometrist, make sure you qualify for the Seniors Financial Assistance Program and see if there are any additional costs associated with your appointment. Call any of our three locations at My Optometrist Calgary and we would be happy to help and answer your questions you may have.
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What Are Common Age-Related Vision Changes?
If you have never needed glasses or contacts in your life, it can become extremely frustrating to be unable to see clearly or as well as you used to. You may feel like you have lost the ability to do basic everyday tasks such as reading the newspaper or being able to see clearly while driving. As soon as you experience these changes in your vision, visit your Calgary optometrist as soon as possible to be corrected efficiently. The most common age-related vision changes among people aged 65 and up include:
- Difficulty Reading And Seeing Close Up Objects: Computer screens become more blurry and reading small prints becomes trickier due to the lenses in your eyes becoming more flexible as you get older.
- Problems With Glare: Changes in your lenses cause light entering the eye to be scattered rather than focussed precisely on the retina causing glares in your vision most commonly noticed while driving.
- Changes In Colour Perception: When we are young, the lenses in our eyes are crystal clear. However, over time our lenses may start to discolour making it difficult to differentiate between colours.
- Need For Extra Light: You may notice as you age that you require brighter light to complete close-up tasks and read. This is a very common symptom of vision changes.
How To Prevent Risks Such As Falls For Seniors With Vision Loss
Falls are one of the leading causes of serious injuries among seniors and are twice as more common among those with vision problems. It is important for your safety to take precautions and get comprehensive annual eye exams to prevent such injuries. Here are a few ways to lower the likelihood of falling:
- Keep lighting similar throughout your home
- Use nightlights or motion sensors
- Mark edges of stairs with paint
- Use high wattage light bulbs
Protect Your Eyes From The Sun: Protecting your eyes from the harsh UV rays from the sun is just as important as putting sunscreen on your skin. Protect them in all seasons including the winter, due to the glare from snow, by regularly wearing sunglasses. It is believed that many eye-related diseases are caused by harsh UV exposure throughout your life.
Notice Changes In Your Vision? Contact Us Today!
Vision loss and eye-related diseases cause irreversible vision impairment. As soon as you notice any changes in your vision, it is important to book a comprehensive eye exam with your Calgary eye doctor as soon as possible. They will be able to accurately diagnose your vision impairment and efficiently commence treatment immediately.
My Optometrist Calgary offers comprehensive senior eye exams in NE and SE Calgary and at Three Hills, Alberta, and has you covered with our thorough eye care and highly experienced Optometrists. Contact one of our My Optometrist Calgary clinics at either 1-403-256-0606 (Health First Optometry), 1-403-291-0923 (Sunridge Vision Centre), or 1-403-443-2040 (Three Hills Optometry) and book your appointment today.
What should I expect during my eye exam?
Typically, your doctor will begin by reviewing your personal and family health history to see if there are any hereditary problems of eye disease, vision loss, high blood pressure, cancer, etc. Then your doctor will begin conducting vision tests, coordination of eye muscles, peripheral vision, pupil response, colour testing, eyelid health and function, and measurement of fluid pressure in the eye to detect glaucoma.
How does aging affect my vision?
As we get older, the lenses in our eyes become less flexible and may become slightly discolored resulting in the inability to focus on objects clearly or differentiate between certain colours. This is why seeing your optometrist more regularly as you get older is important to prevent vision loss and eye diseases.
What is the most common eye condition among seniors?
Glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and cataracts are the most common vision problems among those aged 65 and up. With regular appointments, these conditions can be detected right away and be properly treated without disrupting your lifestyle.