Eye Care for Seniors
seniors' Eye CAre
As we age, the likelihood of eye disease and vision loss increases. The most common age-related conditions are: cataracts, posterior vitreous detachment, dry eye, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. Yearly eye exams for seniors are recommended to prevent vision loss with early detection and treatment. We offer friendly, thorough eye care and are here to address your concerns and answer your questions. If you require eyeglasses or low vision aids, we offer value with transparent package pricing, family discounts, and payment plans.
Cataracts are a gradual clouding of the eye’s internal lens, preventing light from focusing on the retina. The clouding may prevent you from being able to read comfortably or drive unless the cataract is removed. Fortunately, this is one of the most common and successful surgeries. Symptoms of cataracts include blurred or dim vision, color de-saturation, and glare. Not all cataracts require surgical removal, often a change in prescription is sufficient to provide improved vision in the presence of a cataract. Sunglasses are an important method of prevention and therapy.
Floaters are tiny spots or specks that may appear to float across your field of vision. They are often normal and sometimes moving the eye around will make the spots shift out of your central vision. However, if you notice a sudden change in the number or types of spots, or if they are associated with light flashes, you should see your eye doctor as soon as possible. They may also be signs of a more serious eye disease – retinal detachment. It is therefore important that any symptoms of floaters, flashing lights, or obstruction of vision of any kind be investigated urgently.
Glaucoma develops when the pressure within the eye starts to damage the optic nerve. If not detected and treated early, glaucoma can cause irreversible vision loss. Glaucoma is known as the secret thief of vision, as most people have no early symptoms. The vision loss is typically painless, slow, and progressive. Glaucoma is treated with topical medications or surgery. Routine eye exams are vital as half of all those with glaucoma have not yet been diagnosed.
Dry eye is the most common presenting complaint in eye care. As time passes, the eye and its associated structures lose tear-secreting cells and glands. This can lead to symptoms of redness, grittiness, burning or itching, and sometimes watery eyes. Without adequate, normal tear production the eyes are likely to feel fatigued and vision to fluctuate. The most common cause of dry eye is meibomian gland dysfunction.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) occurs when the pigment and photoreceptors within the macula (the central part of our retina that is responsible for sharp focus and color vision) become damaged. Some of the risk factors include: advanced age, hyperopia, light-colored eyes, history of smoking, gender (women are affected more than men), hypertension, and race (Caucasians are most susceptible). Regular eye exams can help to detect the disease in its early stages. Nutritional supplements, U.V. protection, laser therapy, and intraocular injections of ANTI-VEGF medication are the most common treatment modalities for AMD.
Damage to the small blood vessels (capillaries) caused by diabetes can deprive the retina of oxygen and cause bleeding and fluid leakage in the retina and vitreous. In more advanced cases, the growth of abnormal blood vessels occurs, known as neovascularization. This disease can go through four stages and can result in blindness and painful glaucoma. Symptoms include cloudy or dark vision and sudden onset of floaters. If you have diabetes, strict blood sugar control and regular eye examinations are essential to reduce the risk of permanent vision loss. To learn more about diabetic eye care, please click here.
To learn more about other common eye conditions, click here.
Senior OHIP Eye Exams
A dilated fundus exam is part of a comprehensive senior eye examination, as it assists in getting a detailed view of the posterior segment of the eye.
OHIP covers the cost of yearly eye exams for seniors, including minor assessments for conditions such as pink eye. (Retinal imaging is not an OHIP covered service). To learn more about OHIP coverage, click here.
If you would like to register as a new patient, please click here.