A lot changes as you get older, and your eyes are no exception. Whether it’s ruling out eye disease, or just making sure your prescription is up to date, regular eye exams are the best way to maintain good eye health.
You should have an eye exam once a year or per your Optometrist’s recommendations.
Cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss in people over 40. As the eye ages, protein starts to cluster together, decreasing the transparency of the lens and creating a milky sort of haze. Treatment is relatively simple; an ophthalmologist removes the old cloudy lens and replaces it with a customized new one. Most patients report a huge improvement in the clarity and colour intensity of their vision.
Often called “the silent thief of sight”, glaucoma very gradually narrows the field of vision. Since it usually doesn’t present any other symptoms, patients often don’t realize they have glaucoma until they’ve experienced significant vision loss. This damage is irreversible. The best way to catch glaucoma before it badly limits your eyesight is through regular eye exams.
As the name suggests, AMD often comes with advanced age. When the macula deteriorates, it starts to negatively impact acuity, and often produces “blind spots” in the central field of vision. Although there is no outright cure for AMD, there are treatments to delay the progression of the disease. Read more about age-related macular degeneration.
For many eye diseases and conditions, it’s not a matter of if; it’s a matter of when. Most of us develop some kind of eye problem as we age, with varying degrees of severity and complexity. These are a few of the diseases commonly associated with growing older.
There are a few practices you can take up on your own to help increase and maintain your eye health.
These habits will not negate the need for regular eye exams, nor should they be undertaken without your doctor knowing. Always talk to your doctor before making any significant lifestyle changes.
Nutrition plays an important role in keeping your eyes healthy. There are a number of supplements you can take to help prevent disease and keep your eyes strong.
Diabetes also heavily impacts your eyes, so it’s important to watch your weight and check with your general practitioner to see if you’re at risk for diabetes.
As we age, it can be particularly difficult to get our bodies moving. But staying active doesn’t have to mean running a marathon. Whatever movement you can manage is good for the body, good for the soul, and of course, good for the eyes. Just remember, if you’re exercising outside, protect your eyes from harmful UV rays with a pair of sunglasses.
Smokers are twice as likely to develop cataracts. They’re 5.5 times more likely to develop AMD. Smoking can almost double your chance of diabetes and diabetic eye disease, and you’re twice as likely to suffer from dry-eye. The risk of going blind in old age is up to 4 times more likely to people who smoke. Smoking is one risk factor that is within your control. Quitting will go a long way to increase the health of your eyes.
Come see us for yourself. We’re located Kelowna’s Pandosy Village District, across from Raymer Elementary School.