Aging can bring with it several vision-related issues that can really affect someone’s quality of life. The importance of regular eye exams for elderly people can’t be emphasized enough, because not only do they diagnose vision-related issues, but they can also reveal a host of other health problems. Family caregivers that are helping their loved one with an elderly care plan should not overlook annual eye exams.
Why Seniors Need Eye Exams
Sometimes family caregivers won’t schedule an eye exam until they notice something is wrong or their loved one complains about something. The problem with this practice is that many eye problems may not even be noticeable to an untrained person. Then, a health issue is allowed to go on untreated when early detection may have eliminated it or at least reduced the problem.
Also, elderly loved ones sometimes don’t let their caregivers know if they are experiencing any problems with their health. One reason might be because they don’t want to be a bother or else they are afraid of going to the eye doctor for some reason. Perhaps they worry about the expense or justify that whatever is happening isn’t bad enough to warrant an eye appointment. No matter what, there is likely to be something happening with an elderly person’s eyes that can only be recognized by an expert.
What Are Elderly Eye Exams Like?
So what does an elderly persons’ eye exam consist of? Because elderly people are more prone to have chronic eye disorders, an eye doctor will be on the lookout for certain issues that may not be present in younger patients. Prior to the eye exam, the eye doctor will ask the elderly person about their health history and family health history to see if there are any eye diseases that may be hereditary. They will also ask about any medications that the elderly person might be taking to see if that might influence their vision.
During the eye exam, the eye doctor will be running typical tests for their vision to see if the elderly person has developed nearsightedness or farsightedness or if their previous prescription has changed. Other things they check for include astigmatism, presbyopia, and how the eye muscles coordinate. The eye doctor checks how the pupils respond to light as well as how well the elderly person’s peripheral vision is working. The interior of the eye, the eyelid, and the fluid pressure will also be checked. As part of their elderly care, eye doctors definitely check for cataracts, macular degeneration, and glaucoma.
Interestingly, the eyes can reveal clues about health problems elsewhere in the body such as hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, and carotid artery blockages. An eye doctor will refer a senior patient to a physician if they discover any of the warning signs.
Just like regular visits to a physician can help spot health issues, so can regular visits to the eye doctor. Elderly people are especially prone to vision-related conditions and in order to maintain eye health, they should see the eye doctor at least annually, and more often if there are chronic problems.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring homecare in Tustin, CA, please contact the caring staff at Canaan Home Care today!