Katie had been living with her elderly mother ever since she’d had a stroke about six months ago. When they received a reminder on the voicemail about an annual eye exam, Katie was tempted to cancel it. After all, it was the same day the elder care aide was coming and there were lots of errands to run. Besides, her mother hadn’t complained about her glasses or anything.
However, Katie decided that she’d better make the arrangements and stick with the appointment. It’s a good thing they went to the eye exam, because the eye doctor found some early signs of glaucoma, and was able to start treatments right away.
Growing older means that different parts of the body don’t work as efficiently as they used to. It also means that some of the senses start to deteriorate. When it comes to vision and eye health, elderly people almost always experience some reduction in ability. Elders are also at a higher risk to develop eye-related illnesses and diseases. It’s extremely important for family caregivers to schedule annual eye exams for elderly loved ones because the health of the eyes is a key part of overall health and wellness.
Poor eyesight can cause a lot of problems for elders, so the eye exam will ensure that their current corrective lenses are doing the job. If not, the eye doctor can provide a new prescription and the elderly person can see the world clearly once again. An eye exam will also ensure that the eyes themselves are healthy, such as the tear glands, eye lids, retina and optical nerve.
Elderly people are definitely more prone to contracting chronic eye disorders that can cause health problems and may even lead to blindness. When an eye doctor can spot the early signs of these conditions, they are often easier to treat and will not progress as quickly as if they were left untreated.
Here are just a few of the serious conditions that the eye doctor will be looking for:
- Dry eye syndrome
- Retinal disorders
- Corneal disease
- Age-related macular degeneration
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Temporal arteritis
Getting a regular eye exam is the best way for an eye doctor to identify any problems and then guide the elderly loved one through a course of treatment that can keep the vision sharp and the eyes healthy for years to come.
Finally, it’s important to note that an eye doctor can even provide some insight into other health issues that elders might be facing that haven’t even been diagnosed yet. Diseases and conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and more can have an effect on the eyes, and an eye doctor can discover these warning signs. If this is the case, they will refer the elderly patient to a physician for further diagnoses.
It’s never a good idea to skip or avoid an eye exam for an elderly loved one. Keeping a senior’s eyes healthy and working properly means better health and a higher quality of life for them for years to come.