Many Eye Diseases Become More Prominent With Age. Schedule Your Annual Eye Exam Today.
HOW DO OUR EYES CHANGE AS WE AGE?
It seems that all things change over time, and of course our eyes are no exception. Like the rest of our body, our eyes change in shape, size, and capability. Lenses that were once clear become clouded; cells that were once flexible become more rigid – due to simply advancing years or due to Sun-UV exposure, computer screen exposure or health challenges.
Some changes, such as presbyopia, are natural and unavoidable while others, such as cataracts, can be treated successfully and your visual acuity restored.
PRESBYOPIA & REFRACTIVE ERRORS
Refractive errors are what cause the need for corrective lenses. You may have heard of these as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism, and presbyopia. A refractive error is when your eye or part of your eye (usually the cornea) is shaped or sized in a non-ideal manner. This changes how light focuses in your eye, impairing your vision. In some cases, there are distorted parts of the eye that also challenge the ability for sharpness and ease of sight.
INCREASED CHANCE OF VISION – THREATENING EYE DISEASES
Many eye diseases, such as glaucoma and macular degeneration, become more probable as we get older. The prevalence of these diseases is a big part of the reason why the Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO) strongly advise senior citizens to have their eyes examined every year (as opposed to every other year, as recommended for healthy people between ages 20 and 65).
Many eye diseases don’t have symptoms. Detecting them before they cause sight loss is critical in maintaining your visual acuity and comfort and efficiency of vision.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT EYE EXAMS
An eye exam is a painless and non-invasive way to keep a pulse on your health. Your eyes are fragile organs that tend to do their job without much in the way of complaints. Checking in every year ensures that we are on top of any changes or diseases that may affect your vision, and often also, other parts of your body.
Most eye exams are completed in under an hour. Schedule your appointment today.
WHAT EYE EXAMS ARE LOOKING FOR
A change in the health of your eye/internal structures – While everything may look good from the outside, the real action is going on inside the eye. During the eye exam we use sophisticated retinal imaging equipment that allows us to obtain high-resolution images of your eye and optic nerve.
Developing eye diseases – Glaucoma, macular degeneration, and other eye diseases can take weeks, months, and sometimes even years to develop to a state where the patient notices it. By detecting these diseases before they cause vision loss, we can improve the odds of vision preservation by as much as 95%. Establishing early baseline measurements is crucial to determining change.
A change in your corrective lens prescription – Having to squint more to read? Getting headaches when concentrating? It is a common occurrence that these complaints are remedied by updating your corrective lens prescription. This is taken care of during the exam.
TESTS PERFORMED DURING THE EYE EXAM
Preliminary Tests – These tests are usually performed by an optometric assistant (CCOA) prior to seeing your Optometrist.
Digital Retinal Optomap – An image of the back of your eye detects signs of diabetes, macular degeneration, optic nerve health, and cataract formation.
Ocular Coherence Tomography (OCT) imaging – A highly-detailed 3-D image of your optic nerve and retina provide essential diagnostic information about your eye health.
Visual Field Analyzer –This test assesses your visual field and is useful for indicating macular degeneration, glaucoma and also is important in assessment of concussion or stroke.
Auto-Refractor – Reads the curvature of the eye and helps approximate prescription readings. The measurements taken by the auto-refractor guide the Optometrist in fine-tuning your prescription.
Non-Contact Tonometer – A measuring device that monitors the pressure of the eye. Abnormally high intraocular eye pressure (IOP) is one of the indicators of glaucoma.
Optometrist-performed Tests – These tests are performed by the Optometrist. If needed, the Optometrist may perform other tests in addition to the tests below.
Slit Lamp Exam – Using an intense light and a specialized magnifying lens, the Optometrist assesses your sclera, cornea, and retina for signs of disease or abnormalities.
Visual Acuity Test – The famous “letters on the wall” test. The Optometrist will ask you to read back letters and numbers from a standardized distance (approximately 20 ft / 6 m) in order to determine your visual acuity.
Retinal Imaging Assessment – The Optometrist will review the images taken by the digital retinal camera and OCT.