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Lumby, Lavington, Whitevale, Coldstream, Vernon & Cherryville

Your Community Newspaper

Lumby, Lavington, Whitevale, Coldstream, Vernon & Cherryville

Your Community Newspaper

Lumby, Lavington, Whitevale, Coldstream, Vernon & Cherryville

Seniors Routine Eye Exams – Not Just About Glasses

As we age, taking care of our eyes is very important!  Seeing your optometrist for regular eye exams can help diagnose and monitor conditions affecting the eyes. If you are 65 or older, it is recommended that you have a comprehensive eye exam at least once a year. This is not just about needing new glasses! During your annual exam, your optometrist can discuss ways to reduce your risk of eye disease – the risk which increases as we get older. 

Three common eye diseases affecting seniors are cataracts, glaucoma, and Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).

A cataract is where the natural lens in the eye becomes cloudy.  Cataracts may progress slowly or quickly.  

Glaucoma is a disease that when undiagnosed, can lead to blindness without symptoms. Glaucoma is where the nerve fibers that carry the information from the eye to the brain die off faster than they should.  Comprehensive eye exams screen for glaucoma.  Specialized testing with Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT, an ultrasound for the eye), Visual Field testing and measuring intraocular pressure are important to establish baselines and monitor for change.

Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a disease that affects our central vision. It can have mild effects or can cause severe vision loss.  Routine Optometric exams monitor for AMD.  Early detection helps with early management and reduces the risk of progression.  An annual comprehensive eye exam monitors for AMD.

Routine comprehensive eye exams monitor for all the above conditions and so much more. Many systemic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, autoimmune disease, and thyroid conditions can have effects on the eyes.  Routine Optometry exams screen for these and other eye diseases.  Of course, you will also get a new prescription for glasses if required.

Some other tips for promoting good eye health includes a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables – the more color the better! Regular exercise is also important, and when you’re are outside a well-fitted pair of sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat to block out the harmful UV rays from the sun are recommended.

Thank you, Dr. Aaron Barrie from Monashee Optometry, for writing this article with his expertise. 

Whitevalley Resource Centre would like to thank our sponsors, The United Way, and Interior Health.

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