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Don’t take your eyes for granted! Team CareLinx urges you to get regular eye exams and to protect your eyes. 

Seniors are at high risk for vision problems
Seniors are at a much higher risk for eye diseases and major vision problems because of their age. For example, glaucoma affects less than 1 in 100 people ages 40-49. But for those over 80, that rate goes up to 1 in 10 people! And did you know that even people with 20/20 vision can develop glaucoma?

Regular eye exams protect against vision loss
Their high risk makes it important for older adults to get a comprehensive eye exam with dilation every 1 – 2 years. That’s a recommendation from the National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP), which is part of the U.S. government’s National Institutes of Health (NIH) so you know it’s legitimate.

Regular comprehensive eye exams (not the kind you get from the express eyeglasses store at the mall) help protect vision because problems can be detected early. If proper treatment is started early, major vision loss can often be prevented.

Financial help for eye care
Eye exams for seniors can be affordable. Many state and national resources help people with vision problems. The National Eye Institute has a list of organizations (click here) that provide financial help for:

  • Eye exams
  • Eye surgery
  • Eyeglasses
  • Eye-related prescription drugs
  • Eye-related government programs

Social workers at local hospitals or other community organizations are another source for help. They often know about local community resources that help people who have financial and medical problems.

What does a comprehensive eye exam include?
A comprehensive dilated eye exam has 4 parts.

  1. Dilation – Widening the pupils helps eye doctors see important tissues at the back of the eye, like the retina, the macula, and the optic nerve.
  2. Tonometry – A test that helps detect glaucoma by checking pressure inside the eye.
  3. Visual field test – This measures your side (peripheral) vision.
  4. Visual acuity test – A test where you read an eye chart, which helps eye doctors measure how well you see at different distances.

Bottom line
Saving your senior’s sight helps you both because good vision keeps them independent, prevents falls, and lets them enjoy a variety of activities. Don’t wait, schedule their comprehensive eye exam ASAP!

By Connie Chow, Contributing Writer and Founder of DailyCaring
Source: National Eye Institute
Image: Dr. R. James Tripp & Dr. A. Nadine Guerrette

Photo of Connie Chow, founder of DailyCaring

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