Did you know that in the United States, more than 12 million citizens over 40 have impaired vision, including 1 million who are legally blind?
Vision care is important as we age. Untreated and undiagnosed visual impairments can seriously affect a patient’s quality of life and sense of independence.
As people grow older, senior vision plans ensure they have the best vision possible. We’ve put together this simple guide to explain the importance of senior eye care.
Read on for everything you need to know.
How Does Aging Change Your Eyes?
As you get older, your vision changes due to anatomical changes in your eyes. This process takes place throughout your whole life. Children’s eyes, for example, become larger as they get older.
Cataracts and presbyopia are two common disorders that emerge as a result of anatomical changes in the eye during later life. While these changes are usually associated with senior vision care, both disorders can begin developing as early as your 40s.
Let’s take a look at these two conditions to better understand the importance of senior eye care.
Presbyopia causes us to become more nearsighted as we age.
When light reaches your eye, it travels through a structure known as the crystalline lens. The crystalline lens is a transparent, flexible layer of tissue that focuses light as it enters the eye. Depending on what you’re looking at, the lens flexes to concentrate and focus light.
This lens begins to harden as you get older. The less flexible the lens, the more difficult it is for your eyes to focus.
Cataracts are another common structural change that occurs in the crystalline lens.
The lens is made from proteins that are designed to let light through. The proteins in the lens rearrange as you age, causing there to be less space for light to enter your eye.
As a result, your eyesight becomes cloudier, and colors lose clarity. Untreated, this can eventually lead to blindness.
How Senior Eye Exams Can Help
Many of the vision problems linked with aging are asymptomatic, which means they develop without causing obvious symptoms.
Senior eye exams are crucial because they can identify structural abnormalities before they cause irreparable damage. Optometrists provide diagnostic tests to assess your eye health. They will check the inner structure of your eyes to detect changes and begin addressing any problems immediately.
The sooner they detect the issue, the sooner they can begin correcting your eye health. These eye doctors will explain how often you need to get senior vision eye exams.
Explaining the Importance of Vision Care As You Age
So, that’s our rundown on why it’s so important to seek good vision care as you grow older. The sooner you can identify and treat vision loss, the better chance you have of maintaining your independence and freedom.
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