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InterView Magazine

Vision Exams:

 Save Sight Plus Detect Other Health Issues


Regular check-ups and screenings are more and more important as we age—and the eyes are no exception,” says Kimberly Robertson, OD, VSP doctor. 
“There’s no doubt adults over the age of 50 are more prone to chronic eye disorders such as glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration,” says Dr. Robertson. “With all three of these conditions, early detection is critical.”

“What a lot of patients don’t realize is that an eye exam can also uncover symptoms of significant health problems— including carotid artery blockages, hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes,” she says. “I often refer my patients to their primary care doctors for diagnosis and treatment after finding one of the warning signs for these serious health conditions.” An annual eye check up is a simple, low-stress way to keep tabs on your eye and overall health. Here are some the things your eye doctor will be looking for:

Age-related macular degenration (AMD)
This is the leading cause of blindness among older adults, but, early detection and treatment can slow its progress significantly. There are a couple different types of AMD. The type determines the treatment—ranging from laser surgery, medication or dietary supplements to slow down the progression of the disease.

Glaucoma
Glaucoma has been called, “the silent thief of sight” because too often, it goes unnoticed before too much damage is done to save vision. It’s caused by too much pressure in the eyes. When doctors catch it early, they can often manage it effectively and prevent vision loss.

Cataracts
Cataracts are a nearly unavoidable part of aging. Over time, the lens in the eyes can get cloudy and yellow. But, updated eyewear prescriptions can often delay surgery, which is easy and low-risk. 

Diabetic retinopathy
This affects diabetic patients and can rob sight. The tiny blood vessels in the eye
that feed the retina become damaged and allow fluids to seep into the eye. Treatment includes changes in diet and exercise, and possibly surgery.

Vision Changes
Age usually increases vision changes. A yearly check up will help keep your vision sharp with updated eyewear prescriptions.

“Because of all these advantages, it just makes good sense to keep that yearly appointment with the optometrist,” says Dr. Robertson

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