Prevent Major Vision Loss With Affordable Eye Exams for Seniors

courtesy of DailyCaring.com
Affordable Eye Exams for Seniors photo

We explore how regular eye exams protect against vision loss, what a full eye exam should include, and how to get financial help for eye care.

Seniors are at high risk for vision problems

Seniors are at a much higher risk for eye diseases and major vision problems because the risk increases with age.

For example, glaucoma affects 1 in 10 people over 80. And even people with 20/20 vision can develop it.

Protecting your older adult’s sight has many benefits. Good vision helps them stay independent longer, reduces fall risk, and lets them continue to enjoy their favorite activities.

We explain how regular eye exams protect against vision loss, how to get financial help for eye care, and what a full eye exam should include.

Regular eye exams protect against vision loss

Because of their high risk, the National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP) recommends for older adults to get a comprehensive eye exam with dilation every 1 – 2 years.

Regular eye exams help protect vision because problems can be detected early — but the quick exams at the express eyeglasses store at the mall aren’t comprehensive enough.

If an eye disease is found, proper treatment can be started early to prevent major vision loss.

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Financial help for eye care

Eye exams for seniors can be affordable. Many state and national resources help people with vision problems.

The National Eye Institute has a list of organizations that provide financial help for:

  • Eye exams
  • Eye surgery
  • Eyeglasses
  • Eye-related prescription drugs
  • Eye-related government programs

Social workers at local hospitals or other community organizations are another source for help. They often know about local community resources that help people who have financial and medical problems.

What does a comprehensive eye exam include?

A comprehensive dilated eye exam has 4 parts:

  1. Dilation – Widening the pupils helps eye doctors see important tissues at the back of the eye, like the retina, the macula, and the optic nerve.
  2. Tonometry – A test that helps detect glaucoma by checking pressure inside the eye.
  3. Visual field test – This measures your side (peripheral) vision.
  4. Visual acuity test – A test where you read an eye chart, which helps eye doctors measure how well you see at different distances.

Reviewed October 2021

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