Community Blog

See to it that Seniors get Annual Eye Exams

By Debbie Humphrey

There are lots of adorable children in vision-related ads lately due to the back-to-school frenzy. However, after the optometrist’s office clears of all the youngsters, it’s very important that we see to it that seniors get annual eye exams.

I would venture a guess that most of us have parents and grandparents whose hearing and vision have declined over the years. I know many in my line of work. The importance of seniors having eye exams goes beyond updating their prescription for a new pair of glasses, but it can be a tell-tale sign that the aging adult may not see well enough to drive; or it can also determine if they are suffering from vision-related conditions that don’t always present with symptoms.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration [AMD] – The macula is a small, light-sensitive area of the retina that helps us see fine details and colors. AMD affects the central vision and inhibits safe driving, reading, watching television, and other activities. AMD does not impact peripheral vision.

Cataracts – When the lens develops a cloudy or “opaque” area known as cataract, it causes blurred vision, reduced contrast visibility, obscured colors, and sensitivity to light and glare. Cataracts can occur in one or both eyes, and it is possible for one to become worse than the other.

Diabetic Retinopathy – This condition occurs in people with diabetes and it affects both eyes. When the blood vessels that “nourish” the retina become damaged over time, they leak blood and other fluids which results in swelling of the retinal tissue and clouded vision. The longer the person has diabetes, the greater their risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. When left untreated the severity of Diabetic Retinopathy can cause blindness.

Dry Eye – When aging eyes produce few or low quality tears, it is known as dry eye. Tears lubricate the front surface of the eyes for good eye health, and to maintain clear vision. Dry eye is common in older adults.

Retinal Detachment – This is what it sounds like: the retina tears or separates from the “underlying tissue.” This can happen suddenly due to changes in the “gel-like vitreous fluid” found in the back of the eye. Head or eye trauma, diabetes, inflammatory eye disorders and other health issues can cause Retinal Detachment. If not treated promptly, it could lead to blindness.

Good eye health is important for everyone. August is Eye Exam Awareness Month, so see to it that the special seniors in your life make their annual appointment, or better still, try to accompany them to it. If you are unable to assist, a compassionate caregiver can give them a ride or tag-along; or an another form of transportation assistance is available to their optometrist’s office. It is my pleasure to sit down in a FREE consultation with you and your senior loved one to discuss the many ways Home Helpers® can help.

Home Helpers® is honored to have received the Provider of Choice 2017 & 2018 awards from Home Care Pulse, and we proudly serve male and female seniors in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson and surrounding areas. Home Helpers®…Making Life Easier℠  727.942.2539

Sources: American Optometric Association

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