The Importance of Elderly Eye Tests

Why Elderly Eye Tests are So Important

As we get older, our vision starts to change. However, these changes don’t have to alter your entire life, and there are many ways you can protect your eye health.

After the age of 60, there can be warning signs of potential eye problems which lead to loss of vision. Some of these conditions are asymptomatic but if you get regular eye exams, then these disease can be detected as early as possible.

The most common eye problems as you age include the following:

  • Reading difficulties. Starting at the age of 45, muscles in the eye start to weaken as a process from aging. As you get to age 60, most people need reading glasses in addition to their prescription.
  • Floaters are small spots or specks that float across your vision. In general, these are harmless. However, if they pop up too often, it could be a sign of another health condition.
  • Cataracts are a clouding of the eye lens that commonly develops after the age of 60. The good news with cataracts is that they can be easily detected in an eye exam and a simple operation can restore your sight.
  • Glaucoma results from pressure in the eye that damages the optic nerve (a nerve that connects the eye to the brain). If left undetected, glaucoma can severely damage your vision and cause tunnel vision, sometimes even blindness. With early detection, complications from glaucoma can be treated with eye drops.
  • Macular degeneration. As people age, they can develop a disease of the retina called macular degeneration. The retina is located in the back of your eye and is made up of nerve tissue. There are two types of macular degeneration. The first kind develops slowly and get worse as it progresses. The second type gets worse very rapidly. If this occurs, you need to seek medical attention right away.
  • Diabetic retinopathy. In patients with diabetes, they can develop a condition called Diabetic retinopathy, which affects both eyes. The tiny vessels in the retina become progressively damaged, and they can leak blood or fluids that swell retinal tissue, as well as cloud vision. If you have diabetes for a longer period of time, your odds of developing this condition are much higher. In addition, if a person has an unstable glucose measurement, this can also increase the severity of diabetic retinopathy. In the most extreme cases, this condition can cause blindness.
  • Retinal detachment. Retinal detachment is when the retina detaches from its underlying tissue. This condition can happen instantly when there are changes in the fluid from the back of the eye. The most common causes include a traumatic blow to the eye or head, health issues such as advanced diabetes, and inflammatory eye disorders. If a retinal detachment is left untreated, you could lose your vision permanently.

Don’t Forget Your Trusty Eye Test

Some people may think that an eye test is to determine whether you need glasses or to adjust your current prescription. Eye tests also are an important step in determining the health of your eyes. These tests will check your vision from all angles, and look for age-related changes in the eyes. If you notice anything is wrong with your eyes or you haven’t had an exam in a while, be sure to make an appointment right away. Eyes should be tested every 2 years, or more if requested by an optician.

The team at Dr. Ghosheh Advanced Eye Care want to make sure all of our patients are well looked after. If you have any concerns with your eye health, be sure to get in touch with us today.

Why is Eye Pressure So Important?

Pressure and Your Eyes

The pressure in your eyes is important for your overall vision health. Ocular hypertension, the condition of having an excess amount of pressure in your eyes, is dangerous and increases your risk of glaucoma (although this does not necessitate that you will develop the condition).

The pressure in your eyes is affected by the production of excess fluid in the eyes or poor drainage of the fluid from the eyes. This causes damage to the optic nerve and can cause glaucoma and permanent vision loss if left untreated.

Normal eye pressure is somewhere between 10 and 21 mmHg.

Glaucoma and Intraocular Pressure

Glaucoma is a condition involving excess pressure in the eyes due to improper production and/or drainage of fluid in the front of the eye. Aqueous humor, the fluid that your eyes produce, blocks channels in the eye that regularly are drained through the trabecular meshwork. The mounting pressure that results causes glaucoma.

Signs and symptoms of glaucoma include redness in the eyes, loss of vision, eye pain, nausea or vomiting, seeing halos around lights, or hazy/narrowed vision. The first sign of glaucoma is the loss of peripheral vision, which can go unnoticed for a great duration of time. Without regular eye exams, patients may not know there is any damage to their optic nerve or that they are experiencing hypertension.

When your intraocular pressure (that is, the pressure on the inside of your eyes) is higher than normal, you run the risk of other eye conditions as well, such as pseudoexfoliation syndrome and pigment dispersion syndrome.

Eye Conditions Involving Pressure

The exact cause of pseudoexfoliation syndrome is unknown, however it is known to increase eye pressure and precipitate glaucoma. It is a condition in which light gray, flakey material forms on the eye’s pupil margin and anterior lens capsule. When these dandruff-like substances form, they can block the trabecular meshwork of the eye and therefore cause the increase in pressure, as the eye is unable to drain properly.

Pigment dispersion syndrome is a condition in which the colored part of the eye, known as the iris, begins to flake. The pieces that flake off of the iris become lodged in posterior parts of the cornea. This can cause an increased pressure in the eye (hypertension) and pigmantary glaucoma if the flakes break off and clog the anterior chamber of the eye from which the aqueous fluid of the eye usually drains.

Regular Eye Maintenance

Regular eye exams include a test for glaucoma, which tests the pressure in your eyes. These tests are quick and painless. An eye doctor will dilate your pupils and conduct an exam that measures the pressure in your eyes, known as tonometry. They will also inspect the drainage angle of your eyes (gonioscopy); take a look at your optic nerve (ophthalmoscopy); conduct a visual field test, which measures your peripheral vision; and measure your cornea’s (the clear film at the front of the eye) thickness (pachymetry). These tests will focus on any aspect that may indicate the presence of glaucoma, which would be additionally indicative of improper circulation of fluid in your eyes or hypertension.

You may be prescribed eye drops by your doctor that cause the build-up in the front of the eye to be reduced, or increase the flow of fluid through the eye. Laser surgery and microsurgical options are available for more severe cases.

Consult Your Doctor

The pressure in your eyes is exceedingly important to your overall vision health. Hypertension can be the cause of glaucoma, and can lead to blindness. While the blindness caused by glaucoma is not reversible, if managed properly, glaucoma usually does not lead to permanent vision loss.

It is important that you continue to visit your eye doctor regularly. Schedule a visit with Dr. Ghosheh of Laser for Eyes. If you have more questions about eye pressure or other eye conditions that may be affecting you, you can also take a look at Dr. Ghosheh’s medical blog for further information.

Preventing Eye Strain

How to Avoid Eye Strain at Work

Spending hours on the computer can be damaging for your eyes and can lead to other problems down the line. If you are feeling the negative effects of long hours spent straining your eyes at the screen, you will be happy to know that there are simple steps to help save your eyes in the long-term.

Consider these tips and tricks in the office to relieve your eyes throughout the work day:

Get regular eye exams

Schedule regular eye exams to measure whether or not your eyesight is deteriorating from staring at the screen. Request the most comprehensive eye exam available in order to know exactly what changes your eyes are experiencing, and to learn how you can address them. Make sure to have an appointment with your eye doctor at least once a year to check how your eyes are doing.

Use proper lighting

Working only by the light of your computer screen can often cause problems that will negatively affect you for the rest of your life. The best thing you can do is to have overhead lighting available, as well as a lamp, so that your eyes will be less strained. The extra lighting can make a considerable difference and can be more comfortable for your eyes when you aren’t reading text on the screen.

Make sure to take breaks

One of the best ways to avoid eye strain is to make sure to take short breaks every now and then from your screen. Taking a short walk outside or a coffee break can help you recollect your thoughts and allows your eyes to readjust to something else. It usually doesn’t take long to rest your eyes—you might only need ten or fifteen minutes to rest your eyes enough.

Upgrade your display

The best thing to do when you are unable to leave your computer is to look into upgrading your display. While it may cost a little more, many businesses are willing to cover the cost in order to save their employees from straining their eyes. There are a number of good products out there that can make it easier on your eyes. It’s usually worth the initial investment in order to save your eye health. If you are looking for a replacement, an LCD screen is a much better option.

You can also adjust your display to be brighter or darker depending on what you feel would be better for your eyes. Adjusting font size can also help for those who struggle with reading small type.

Schedule an exam with Dr. Ghosheh

If you are suffering from eye strain at work, schedule an eye exam with Dr. Ghosheh today. For this and all other eye health concerns, contact the caring eye specialists at Advanced Eye Medical Group.