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Posted on 09-08-2016

Heathy Aging:  Why Making Your Sight a Priority is Importantaging eye

Much as we often try to deny it, getting older is inevitable.  Along with the wrinkles and gray hairs, your body begins to go through many other changes as well, and these are often particularly noticeable when it comes to eyesight.  Since September is Healthy Aging month, we thought we’d take a few minutes to discuss why prioritizing your sight as you age is important.  

First, EVERYONE’S vision changes with age.  Everyone’s.  Sometimes the changes make it more difficult to perform everyday tasks, but at other times, poor vision can begin to affect your independence and autonomy.  

Some of the more common signs of aging eyesight are losing focus, noticing a declining sensitivity in your sight, and needing more light, and these can be treated pretty easily with glasses, contacts, or you know…turning on the light.  However, it’s also important to realize that losing vision is NOT a normal part of the aging process.  The risk of diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma increases with age, and these need to be treated quickly and early to reduce their spread and prevent possible permanent vision loss.  

This is why it’s vital that everyone over age 50 undergo a comprehensive, dilated eye exam at least once a year.  These exams not only detect issues such as presbyopia, farsightedness, nearsightedness, and astigmatism (all of which can usually be treated with glasses or contact lenses), they can also detect the early warning signs of the major eye diseases listed above.  Often these “big-bads” don’t have warning signs you’ll notice right away. It’s only with dilation and specialized equipment that your optometrist can diagnose these diseases.  

So, if you’re 50 or older, please be sure to schedule a regular, comprehensive exam with us.  While you’re visiting, take a few minutes to discuss the following questions with any of our four doctors:  Am I at a higher risk for eye disease?  What changes can I expect in my vision?  Will the changes in my vision get worse?  Can they be corrected, and if so, how?  How can I protect my vision?  Are there any lifestyle changes I can make to reduce my risk of eye disease or prevent the progress of any already diagnosed issues?  

As with many health-related issues, prevention is key, and knowledge is power.  Don’t neglect your eyesight—come see us regularly!

Source:  nei.nih.gov

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