We prioritise regular visits to the GP, but we should also ensure we schedule routine eye and ophthalmic examinations. These regular checks play a pivotal role in maintaining good vision as we age, detecting potential issues early and ensuring a better quality of life. Dr Rupal Morjaria explains more.
Evolving Needs of Ageing Eyes:
As we get older, we experience a natural decline in our eyes' functionality. From the age of 40 onwards, many individuals notice changes in their near and distant vision due to a condition called presbyopia. This makes it difficult to focus on close-up objects, meaning reading glasses or multifocal lenses becomes a necessity. Moreover, various eye diseases become more prevalent, such as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration.
Regular eye and ophthalmic checks become crucial as they allow professionals to monitor these changes closely. By doing so, they can provide timely interventions, prescribe appropriate corrective measures and help individuals adapt to their changing vision needs.
Early Detection is Key:
One of the most compelling reasons to prioritise regular eye exams is the potential for early detection of diseases. Many conditions are asymptomatic in their initial stages, meaning you might not even realise something is wrong until the problem has progressed significantly. By the time symptoms become noticeable, irreversible damage may have occurred. However, routine checks can identify these issues early.
Cataracts, for instance, is a common age-related condition characterised by clouding of the lens, leading to blurred vision and early detection allows for surgical intervention. Glaucoma causes damage to the optic nerve and peripheral vision and regular examinations can catch elevated intraocular pressure, a key risk factor. Macular degeneration is one of the leading cause of vision loss in older adults, and can also be better managed with early detection and intervention.
Preserving Quality of Life:
Maintaining good vision is essential for maintaining an active and independent lifestyle. Good vision means we can continue to enjoy daily activities, engage in hobbies, drive safely and continue social connections.
Imagine the difference between someone who gets regular eye exams and has their conditions managed effectively, versus someone who neglects their eye health. The former can continue to enjoy life's pleasures with confidence and ease, while the latter might face limitations and challenges due to unaddressed vision issues.
Customised Care and Prevention:
No two individuals have the same health needs. Regular eye exams provide an opportunity for professionals to offer personalised care and prevention strategies. By assessing your unique eye health profile, including medical and family history, we can tailor recommendations to address specific risks and concerns.
For instance, if there's a family history of glaucoma, we might recommend more frequent exams and specific tests to monitor intraocular pressure. If an individual has a history of excessive sun exposure, they might receive guidance on the importance of UV protection and sunglasses to prevent conditions like cataracts and macular degeneration.
Remember that our eyes are windows to the world, allowing us to experience the beauty around us. As we age, it's imperative to take the correct steps to preserve and protect our vision - and regular eye and ophthalmic checks should be at the top of your to-do list. It's not just about checking your visual acuity, but about safeguarding your ability to maintain independence and enjoy the world around us. See it as an essential part of your overall health and wellness journey.
Discover our essential tips for taking care of you eyes in our blog post here.