How Often Should Seniors Have Their Eyes Examined?

Florida is chock-a-block with myopic seniors. The question often arises as to how often seniors should have their eyes examined to monitor eyesight as well as eye disorders. Seniors are prone to cataracts and other eye disorders, and their vision is likely to deteriorate as they age. If you are 65 years old, you should consider a few changes to your lifestyle, including:

  • ·       Annual eye checkups
  • ·       Semi-annual physical exams
  • ·       Declutter and functionalize your home — Florida residential renovations are a big business in the state
  • ·       Less driving at night
  • ·       Less spicy or fatty food
  • ·       More exercise
  • ·       More involvement in community activities

Let’s concentrate on eye health. You need to get your eyes examined at least annually even if you don’t have any overt symptoms. As we age, our chances of developing eye diseases increase. Some diseases, such as diabetes, can cause vision loss, so extra precautions are prudent.

Your eye specialist will be able to explain proper eye care to you. This may include regular eye cleaning or use of special drops. A condition known as blepharitis, an inflammation of the eyelid, is evident when you wake up with crusted eyes. Special cleaning techniques and medicines may be needed to cure this disorder. Other common eye disorders that afflict the elderly include:

  • ·       Macular degeneration
  • ·       Detached retina
  • ·       Cataracts
  • ·       Retinovascular problems
  • ·       Deteriorating eyesight

Believe it or not, many elderly patients don’t realize a loss of vision in one eye. They express complete surprise when an ophthalmologist has them look through just one eye. Many aging patients compensate for sensitivity to bright light by wearing progressively darker sunglasses.

Here are some symptoms that may indicate that you have a problem seeing:
·       Bumping into objects
·       Difficulty maintaining your balance when walking, even on level surfaces
·       Hesitancy to move around or negotiate stairs
·       Brushing into walls as you walk
·       Missing objects when you reach for them
·       Mistaking your spouse for a pile of laundry
·       Squinting at everything
·       No longer reading books, watching television or tying fishing lures.
·       Missing your mouth when eating with a fork

Seniors can do simple daily tests to monitor for eye disorders. For instance, an Amsler grid, a special type of graph paper, will alert you to the possibility of macular degeneration. If you see any distortion or waviness when viewing the grid, you should see your eye doctor immediately. Eyesight is very important for the enjoyment of life, so take the time to keep your eyes healthy and in shape as you age.