The Importance of Eye Care as We Age

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In getting older, it is important to take care of our health to help prevent major problems from developing. Quality eye care is a valuable part of health care monitoring. Here are some things you can do to protect your eyesight.

Get Regular Eye Exams

Don’t wait to see an optometrist or ophthalmologist only when you develop an eye problem. By then, depending on the type of problem you experience, serious damage might have occurred. Take a proactive approach by scheduling annual or biennial exams. Routine examinations provide the eye doctor with consistent information over measurable periods of time. This helps to track minor changes before they lead to more serious problems. Of course, if you develop a problem, contact your eye doctor immediately for assistance.

Find a Reputable Ophthalmologist

An ophthalmologist offers a detailed eye exam to check various aspects of your vision, such as whether it remains strong and clear or begins to weaken and possibly become fuzzy. Many factors may contribute to general problems of this type, such as dry eye from medication or aging, certain types of medication, dry air at home or in the local environment, and other causes. However, general systems may also be the start of something more serious.

For a thorough evaluation with minimal intrusiveness, find an eye doctor that offers no dilation exams. Although dilation can help the doctor peer into the inner eye to detect, for example, enlarged veins that may be due to circulatory disorders or diabetes, many conditions can be caught from other parts of a detailed exam. The effects of eye dilation can last several hours after the exam and cause eye sensitivity as well as blurred vision. Other symptoms noted by the doctor without dilation can be followed up with subsequent dilation if needed.

Report Unusual Symptoms

No symptom related to your vision is too small to mention to the eye doctor during your office visit or by making a phone call between checkups. Even though many symptoms are normal or easy to treat, they are worth mentioning to keep them under control if needed and to help form a complete picture of your eye health. Eyes that water frequently, are itchy or red, or that feel particularly dry or painful should be mentioned to the doctor for prompt treatment, often with over-the-counter medications. Alternately, mild symptoms can be monitored over time to see if they clear up on their own or get worse.

Follow the Doctor’s Recommendations

After seeing the eye doctor and receiving prescriptions or recommendations, follow the advice to maintain your vision and to keep problems from developing. Although you might think that the drugstore cream for itchy eyes is not important, the itchiness could become worse and harder to treat later if not addressed now. If the prescribed treatment does not work, always let the doctor’s office know so that your chart can be updated with accurate information. Otherwise, the next time a problem occurs, the doctor could prescribe the same medication that will give you the same bad result or possibly an allergic reaction.

Vision is a precious gift that allows us to enjoy life each day. Take care of your eyes as you get older so you can continue to enjoy seeing things clearly and comfortably.

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