Taking Care of Your Eyes at Age 65+ by Puneet Panda, M.D.

June 22, 2020

Dr. Puneet Panda is a comprehensive ophthalmologist who specializes in dry eye, cataracts, cornea, and refractive surgery.

Your vision is fundamental to your quality of life. Unfortunately, you may not realize how easy it is to lose your vision until it is too late. Most vision loss related to eye disease can be prevented if the disease is caught early. Proper preventative care gives you the upper hand in the effort to keep your eyes healthy and your vision clear.

How Often Most People Over 65 Need Eye Exams

The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends comprehensive eye examinations every 1 to 2 years for all people over the age of 65 who have no symptoms of eye disease and who see clearly. Incidences of ocular disease increase with age, so people ages 65 and up are the most vulnerable to potential vision loss. During comprehensive eye exams, optometrists and ophthalmologists check for damage from health conditions such as diabetes and to check specifically for eye diseases that can lead to blindness, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts. If you have symptoms of eye disease or cannot see clearly, your ophthalmologist may recommend that you have more frequent exams. This frequency of recommended exams depends on your unique health situation.

The Most Common Age-Related Eye Diseases

There are several ocular diseases and conditions your ophthalmologist will look for once you are over 65. The most common age-related ocular diseases include:

  • Cataracts Cataracts refers to clouded lenses that occur when proteins in the eye start to break down due to the natural aging process. Cataracts can prevent light from focusing in the retina, which may result in blurry vision, seeing double, light sensitivity and glare while driving, inability to see in dim lighting, or seeing faded colors.
  • Diabetic retinopathy — Diabetic retinopathy occurs as a result of damage to blood vessels in the retina due to high blood sugar levels. Blood vessels in the retina may swell, leak, or close completely. Diabetic retinopathy can result in blurry vision or loss of central and/or peripheral vision.
  • Age-related macular degeneration — Age-related macular degeneration occurs when protein deposits or abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina. Age-related macular degeneration affects central vision.
  • Glaucoma — Glaucoma results when a buildup of this fluid exerts pressure on the optic nerve and damages its nerve fibers. This can lead to blind spots in a patient’s vision.

Don’t Wait to Make an Appointment

Regular comprehensive eye exams have been proven to help stave off eye disease, visual impairment, and total blindness. Keep in mind the guidance above or reach out to your eye doctor more frequently if you have a personal history of vision problems or if your family has a history of eye disease.

More About Comprehensive Ophthalmologist Puneet Panda, M.D.

Dr. Panda is an ophthalmologist at the Marietta Eye Clinic who specializes in dry eye, cataracts, LASIK, and cornea, in addition to offering comprehensive ophthalmic care. Dr. Panda graduated from Cornell University with an undergraduate degree in biological and environmental engineering. He received his medical degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo and completed his residency at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. He completed his fellowship in Cornea and Refractive Surgery from the Wilmer Eye Institute of Johns Hopkins University. He is a member of both the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons. Read more about Dr. Panda here.

References and Additional Resources

The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons. It describes itself 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.” Its website is a great resource to learn more about how to care for your eyes.

The American Optometric Association (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, 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

What Is Macular Degeneration?

https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/amd-macular-degeneration

What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?

https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-diabetic-retinopathy

What Is Glaucoma?

https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-glaucoma

What Are Cataracts?

https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-are-cataracts

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