Whether you reside in a retirement living community or an assisted living community, your need for an annual eye exam is the same. Even if there are no obvious symptoms or trouble with vision, it is still possible to have an eye disease.
Some people may need more frequent examinations if they are suffering from certain medical conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure. These types of conditions can put a person at a higher risk for some eye diseases.
Some of the common things seniors can develop in regards to their vision include:
- Floaters – Most common in bright lighting, floaters are tiny specks that float across the field of vision. They are normal, but can become a more serious problem if they are frequent.
- Dry eyes – Very common in people over 50, dry eyes happen when the tear glands cannot make enough tears. They can be uncomfortable and cause burning, itching or even loss of vision.
- Cataracts – Cataracts are cloudy areas that cover some part or the entire eye lens. A cataract can inhibit light from passing through the retina, where images are processed. These usually form slowly and cause no pain, but if they become severe enough they will need to be surgically removed.
- Glaucoma – This can develop when an optic nerve is damaged. It can also cause an increase in the pressure in a person’s eye. If not treated early, it could lead to permanent vision loss or blindness. Many factors contribute glaucoma and it is important to detect it early.
If you are nervous to go alone or think you will forget to schedule a yearly exam, get some people together in your independent living community and go as a group. Having support around you will make it easier to handle anything that comes your way.