August is the national month for eye exams. Vision health is as important as your oral and general health. This is particularly true for older adults. If you’ve managed to make it into your senior years without glasses, consider yourself fortunate. Many people over the age of 60 need glasses, even if they are only using cheaters for reading in order to see more clearly.
Age-Related Problems Affecting Eyes and Vision
If you are over 60, you already know that your body is going through changes as you get deeper into your senior years. The same is true with your eyes. The problems that can arise with your eye health may not present early symptoms. This is a major reason why annual eye exams are so important in your later years.
Some vision problems begin with no symptoms and, by the time you notice a problem, the disease is already in an advanced stage. Age-related macular degeneration is an example of this type of disease. The vision in the center of the view is lost while peripheral vision is unaffected. This disease affects the center of the retina called the macula. This part of the eye helps you make out fine details and colors. The macula is critical to activities such as face recognition, watching television, driving, and reading. If you have a small blind spot in the center of your vision, you may be experiencing an early symptom of macular degeneration.
Cataracts are another age-related problem that affects the vision of older people. They most often will develop in both eyes, but it’s not unusual for one eye to be more affected than the other. The cloudy area caused by the cataract causes blurry vision. It also affects the intensity of colors and sensitivity to contrasts.
Other eye problems older adults must be aware of are dry eyes, glaucoma, which can result in blindness, retinal detachment, and diabetic retinopathy for people living with diabetes. Early discovery and prompt treatment of these disorders may prevent you from losing part or all of your vision.
How Often Do You Need Eye Exams?
Many people go years without having their eyes checked. If your vision seems to be fine and you aren’t experiencing any symptoms, it can be easy to skip out on the annual eye exam. However, senior citizens should have their eyes checked every two years at the very least. This is wise even if you have no risk factors for eye problems.
People who do have risk factors, such as those with diabetes, should have their eyes examined at least annually. Risk factors are not just related to the history of your ocular health. They can also be related to family medical history and conditions that are more prevalent in your particular race.
August is National Eye Exam Month, so if you haven’t had an eye exam in the past twelve months, now would be a good time to make that appointment. At the law office of Frolich, Gordon & Beason, P.A., we want to remind our friends and neighbors in the Port Charlotte area that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Eye exams are important at all ages, but especially for seniors. Age-related changes in vision can affect your ability to drive safely. Don’t put off making that appointment.
If you or a loved one has sustained an eye injury due to an accident, please give us a call or contact us with your questions via email. The attorneys at Frohlich, Gordon & Beason, P.A. are here to help you with all your personal injury issues.