Eye Care for Seniors

seniors' Eye CAre

Cropped portrait of an affectionate senior couple enjoying some quality time in the park.

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.

Common Conditions

Cataracts

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.

 

Vitreous Detachment

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 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

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

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.

We offer periciliary eyelid scaling or blepharo-exfoliation to remove bacteria, crust, and debris from the eyelash base and lid margins, thereby clearing the meibomian glands. This can help improve important oil secretions. Meibomian gland dysfunction is the most common cause of dry eye.

 

Punctal Plugs, also known as punctal occluders or lacrimal plugs, are small, bio-compatible devices that are inserted into the tear duct to slow tear drainage. This ultimately increases the volume of tears persisting on the ocular surface, with the added moisture helping to relieve dry eyes. This procedure is widely performed, safe, and easy to apply. Our plugs are collagen-based, and slowly dissolve over a six-month period.

In treating dry eye with punctal occlusion, there is often a measured improvement achieved in tear breakup time (TBUT), reduced corneal staining, and improved visual acuity due to increased tear stability. Punctal occlusion has been reported to be very effective for the treatment of dry eye in relieving symptoms while enabling patients to reduce their dependency on lubricants.

Macular Degeneration

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.

We know offer two tests that provide information on your personal risk of vision loss (Macula Risk) secondary to AMD and guided advice on the specific vitamin supplements you should be taking to reduce your risk of progression and vision loss (VitaRisk).

Diabetic Retinopathy

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

We employ digital retinal imaging to aid in the diagnosis and monitoring of diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration. To learn more about technology we employ, click here.
 

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. To learn more about OHIP coverage, click here.

If you would like to register as a new patient, please click here.