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Regular eye exams are crucial for everyone, but the effects of missing an exam can be especially devastating for seniors. Many eye diseases are more common in older adults, and most are much more treatable during the early stages. Here at Winchester Optical in Winchester, MA, our eye doctor, Dr. Joseph Deering, recommends that anyone over 60, even those without vision complaints, have an eye exam at least once a year.
Vision screening is an important part of ensuring that your eyes are healthy. While these exams are important for people of all ages, seniors are more likely to have an undiagnosed eye disease that can potentially progress very quickly. Conditions such as glaucoma and macular degeneration have no symptoms in the early stages, and contrary to many people's expectations, vision loss as you age is neither normal nor inevitable.
The same type of testing is done for seniors as for younger people during a visit to the optometrist, like:
Eye pressure testing and close examination of the entire eye can rule out or catch early signs of many conditions including glaucoma, macular degeneration, retinopathy from diabetes, cataracts and more.
Sometimes additional tests may be used if there are concerns based on your medical or family history:
Visual field tests can indicate whether you are starting to develop side vision loss, which can be a symptom of glaucoma. Macular pigment testing can show if your retina has enough nutritional health to protect against macular degeneration. OCT and MSI can give amazing detail of the structure inside the eye, even more than the eye doctor can see with their own eyes.
If you have an eye disease, you can still have a good vision for years to come. The key is proper management and monitoring. Many eye diseases can be mitigated through the use of nutrition and early detection, and if vision loss is imminent, proper referral for treatment with medication, surgery, or laser procedures. Making sure that you see your optometrist regularly is the best way to stay on top of your eye health and ensure that you see well now and in the future.
Our optometrist offers eye exams for people of all ages, including seniors. While it may be tempting to skip that annual appointment when your vision seems fine, that can be a big mistake. To schedule an appointment, call (781) 729-4553 today!