The American Academy of Ophthalmology says that early signs of disease or changes in vision can start years before they become a real problem. This is why they recommend “adults with no signs or risk factors for eye disease should receive a baseline comprehensive eye evaluation at age 40.”
They also advise that individuals without any risk factors should have an eye exam by an ophthalmologist every 2 to 4 years. People age 55 to 64 without risk factors should be examined by an ophthalmologist every 1 to 3 years. Seniors 65 years and older without risk factors should be examined by an ophthalmologist every 1 to 2 years as the incidence of unrecognized ocular disease increases with age.
Getting regular eye exams and being aware of any changes to your vision is important as many age-related eye problems do not show early symptoms. Furthermore, common health problems including diabetes and hypertension can cause eye-related issues as well as some medications.
A thorough eye exam will check your visual acuity and peripheral vision, coordination of eye muscles and the pupils’ response to light and color testing. The ophthalmologist also examines the interior and back of the eye along with the inside and outside of the eyelid. In addition, eye fluid pressure is measured with a tonometer, which blows a puff of air onto the eye. The test is used to check for glaucoma and other diseases.
You will additionally be monitored for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) disease. This test uses special instruments to examine the back of your eye to detect and monitor conditions affecting the macula.
Since many eye conditions do not develop symptoms until they are quite advanced, it is important to follow the eye exam recommendations. Also, the risk of glaucoma, cataracts and age-related macular degeneration increases as we get older.
This post is intended for informational purposes only. Please consult with your health care provider if you notice any changes in your vision.
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