Caring for Your Eyes at Ages 65+ by Jordan Stanley, M.D.

September 23, 2019

Jordan Stanley, M.D. is an ophthalmologist, cataract surgeon, and glaucoma specialist at the Marietta Eye Clinic.

Your vision is fundamental to your quality of life and with proper preventative care you can give yourself every advantage possible in the effort to keep your eyes healthy and your vision clear. At various stages of your life, you need to take different measures to ensure your vision remains at optimal levels. Additionally, your health status may affect the normal measures you should take to maintain great visual health.

How Often You Need Eye Exams

The American Academy of Ophthalmology and the doctors at the Marietta Eye Clinic recommend, if you are 65 years old or older, you have an examination performed by an eye doctor every 1 to 2 years as the incidence of unrecognized ocular disease increases with age. This frequency guidance is for you if you do not have any symptoms of eye disease present and if you are seeing clearly. Comprehensive eye examinations are much more than checking your vision for a need to use glasses and contacts (refraction). Optometrists and ophthalmologists conduct comprehensive eye examinations to check for damage from health conditions such as diabetes and to check specifically for eye diseases which can lead to blindness such as glaucoma and cataracts.

Key Age-Related Eye Diseases to Watch

Age is a major factor in many health conditions and diseases and this goes for your eyes and eyesight as well. There are several diseases and conditions your ophthalmologist will keep an eye on in your regular examinations. Here are four key eye diseases you need to ensure you and your eye doctor are watching closely due to how common they are for adults aged 65 and older:

  • Cataracts.
  • Diabetic Retinopathy.
  • Age-related macular degeneration.
  • Glaucoma.

Routine eye exams have been proven to help combat major eye health issues and prevent blindness. Keep in mind the guidance above and reach out to your local optometrist or ophthalmologist more frequently if you are at a higher risk of developing disease. There are times a disease may be progressing even if you don’t notice any particular symptoms.

References and Additional Resources

The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) (https://www.aao.org/eye-health) is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons. They describe themselves as a “global community of 32,000 medical doctors who protect sight and empower lives by setting the standards for ophthalmic education and advocating for our patients and the public.”  Their website is a great resource to learn more about how to care for your eyes.

The American Optometric Association (AOA) (https://www.aoa.org/) The AOA describes itself as the leading authority on quality care and an advocate for our nation’s health, representing more than 44,000 doctors of optometry (O.D.), optometric professionals, and optometry students.

Eye Exam

https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/eye-exam/about/pac-20384655

Eye Exam and Vision Testing Basics

https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/eye-exams-101

Frequency of Ocular Examinations – 2015

https://www.aao.org/clinical-statement/frequency-of-ocular-examinations

Vision Screening Recommendations for Adults Over 60

https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/seniors-screening

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