During our youth and school years we tend to take better care of our eyes. We receive regular vision tests, eye clinics visit our schools, and our parents play a key role in managing our eye health.
As we age, however, we tend to neglect our ocular health and dismiss eye degeneration as a typical sign of getting older; where in many cases, the underlying problem could have easily been treated.
The truth of the matter is that we need to get our eyes tested on a regular basis, regardless of age. Ideally, we should visit an optometrist once every year or two, to have our eyes tested, and to ensure that our eye health remains at its best. However, you should visit an eye clinic as soon as possible if your eyes show signs of degeneration or vision loss, as this can be a sign of a more serious underlying issue.
Eye examinations are more than just a test to see if you need glasses; a range of health issues can be detected simply by inspecting the health of your eyes. These include anything from diabetes to high blood pressure related issues.
Our eyes after 40
The most noticeable impacts on our vision happen after our forties. As we get older, we tend to detect greater strain on our eyes. This can lead to an increase in headaches, dry eyes, and other health and lifestyle issues.
This is also the life stage at which we are at a greater risk of developing a variety of eye conditions. These include:
- Macular Degeneration (AMD) – Chronic degenerative retinal eye disease that causes progressive loss of the central vision.
- Diabetic Retinopathy – Damage caused to the blood vessels inside the retina by diabetes, leading to vision loss or blindness.
- Presbyopia – Struggling to focus on nearby objects (reading a book).
- Glaucoma – Vision loss due to optic nerve damage.
- Cataracts – Clouding of the lens inside the eye, causing gradual vision loss.
Many people between ages 40 and 75 have not had an eye test in many years, and are more inclined to grab a pair of specs at the pharmacy, rather than getting a professional eye test.
Treatment for over 65s
We become more aware of our general health as we reach our retirement years, and it becomes essential that we care for our eyes and maintain our most valuable asset – our health.
People over 65 should have their eyes checked every year, especially if they have a family history of eye disease, suffer from diabetes, or were recently advised by their GP to have their eyes tested.
Falls can often be attributed to poor eyesight, often coming as a result of eye-related problems such as macular degeneration. By being aware of developing eye issues we can maintain our health, avoid hospital visits, and preventatively manage health issues before they arise.
Adults suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure, or serious medical conditions should also undergo regular eye tests, as well as anyone already living with diagnosed eye-related issues.
If you use prescription glasses or have a family history of eye disease, regular eye checks at Westside Eye Clinic are recommended.
Here are 10 reasons you need to take an eye exam
- Your GP advised you to get your eyes tested
- Your eyes are red, dry, or itchy; and you see spots, flashes or floaters in your vision
- You have diabetes, or have a family history of diabetes or glaucoma
- You haven’t had an eye test in a few years
- You have difficulty seeing or driving at night
- You suffer from eye strain, headaches or blurred vision
- You suffer from motion sickness, dizziness, or you struggle to follow a moving target.
- You need to hold a book further away to read, or need to squint to read the words
- You notice a change in the quality of your vision
- You read this article because you weren’t sure if you needed to get your eyes tested.
The good news is that you don’t need a referral to visit your local optometrist for an eye check, and you don’t need to wait for symptoms to get your eyes tested. Remember, prevention is always better than cure.