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Understanding National Eye Exam Month

August is National Eye Exam Month! This month is dedicated to learning more about eye health and learning ways to keep our eyes and our vision healthy. Eye health is important at every age, and concerns over eye health can change over time. For young children in school, their top priority may be the ability to see the chalkboard from the back of the room, while for older adults with older eyes, they may be more concerned about their ability to see while driving or read small print.

As we age, the basic eye exam can detect early signs of eye damage or even signs of disease. Many ophthalmologists recommend that people go in for an eye exam every two to four years between the ages of 40 and 65, and once every one to two years after the age of 65. In order to take the best possible care of your eyes, it is also important to understand what you can do on your own to protect your eye health, what vision changes come with age and when to call the doctor.

Vision Changes with Age

There are several common struggles related to aging eyes. Most of these are not dangerous to overall health, and many can be treated easily. Here are some examples of common eye problems related to age:

Presbyopia. This condition is the loss of ability to see objects up close or to read small print. Developing presbyopia is a normal process that happens slowly over a lifetime; many people begin to first notice a change after age 35.

Flashers or Floaters. The term ‘floaters’ refers to tiny spots or specks that float across the field of vision. It is most common for people to notice them in well-lit rooms or outside in bright light. Floaters can be normal, but can sometimes indicate other eye issues, such as retinal detachment, especially if they are accompanied by light flashes.

Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca. Also known as dry eyes, this condition occurs when tear glands can’t make enough tears or cannot produce quality tears. Dry eyes can be uncomfortable, causing itching, burning or even loss of vision.

Epiphora. This condition, also known as tearing or watery eyes, is often activated because eyes have become sensitive to light, temperature change or wind. However, tearing could also be a sign of a more serious issue, such as an eye infection or a blocked tear duct.

Cataracts. This is a disease of the eye that develops in the lens in the front of the eye. In normal conditions, that lens is clear. However, cataracts prevent light from passing through the lens with ease, causing blurry vision. Usually, cataracts form slowly, causing no pain, redness or tearing in the eye. Some stay small and do not impact eyesight. If they become large, thick and have a significant impact on vision, they can almost always be removed with surgery.

Glaucoma. The disease known as glaucoma is usually related to increased pressure in the eye. If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to permanent vision loss and blindness, often without symptoms. Risk factors for glaucoma include heredity, age, race, diabetes and some medications.

Improving Eye Health

While there are some risks and common challenges associated with older eyes, managing senior eye care is not difficult with the right information. Here are seven tips for preventing problems and keeping eyes healthy:

  1. Make sure any chronic health conditions are under control. For seniors with conditions like diabetes, leaving the condition unchecked could lead to eye issues. At senior living communities like Oakley Courts Assisted Living & Memory Care Community, there are on-site team members who can serve as a resource on your diabetes journey, as well as on-site chefs to prepare meals that will keep your blood sugar on track and support eye health!
  2. Regularly visit your primary care physician for check-ups.
  3. See an eye doctor as often as is recommended. Having a complete eye exam with an eye doctor is important because most diseases of the eye can be treated easily if they are found early.
  4. Fill your diet with eye-healthy foods, such as fish, nuts and seeds, citrus fruits, leafy green vegetables, carrots and eggs.
  5. Drink plenty of water.
  6. When enjoying time outdoors, such as while taking a walk, birdwatching or socializing in gardens at a community like Country Gardens Assisted Living Community, it is important to remember eye safety. Wear sunglasses when you are outside.
  7. See an eye doctor immediately if you have any sudden loss of eyesight, blurred vision, eye pain, double vision, redness, swelling of your eye or eyelid, or discharge coming from the eye.

About Tutera Senior Living & Health Care

Tutera Senior Living & Health Care communities are dedicated to supporting each resident and their family on their unique journey. Offering independent living, assisted living, memory care, Thrive memory care, rehabilitation and extended stay and a respite program, we are able to meet your needs at every turn.

Interested in learning more about Tutera Senior Living? Contact us today for more information, to ask questions or to set up a tour! Want to know where Tutera Senior Living communities are located? Try our location finder tool!

Learn more by clicking on the community links below:

The Atriums Senior Living Community
Carnegie Village Senior Living Community
Charlton Place Rehabilitation & Health Care Center
Country Gardens Assisted Living Community
Lamar Court Assisted Living Community
The Lodge at Manito Assisted Living & Memory Care Community
Mission Chateau Senior Living Community
Moweaqua Rehabilitation & Health Care Center
Norterre - The Laurel Assisted Living and Memory Care
Oakley Courts Assisted Living & Memory Care Community
Rose Estates Assisted Living Community
St. Paul's Senior Community
Tiffany Springs Senior Living Community
The Village at Mission Senior Living Community
Wesley Court Assisted Living Community