Canadians over the age of 65 are at a higher risk of eye related diseases and concerns that affect vision, and in some cases result in a loss of vision. According to the CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind), 75% of visual impairment is preventable if detected early and treated. There are also other vision changes as we age that require vision corrective devices such as eyeglasses. Keeping your vision sharp over the age of 65 is crucial to quality of life.
Although 70% of people from around the world would rather give up 10 years of their life, or even sacrifice a limb, than lose their eyesight less than one third of those polled take the basic steps necessary to preserve eyesight. (“Barometer of Global Eye Health,” a 2012 global survey). Apex Vision in Callingwood, recommends regular, annual eye exams, as many eye diseases associated with aging have little or no symptoms.
When signs do appear, damage to the eye and vision may be irreversible. In addition to detecting early signs of eye disease, a regular eye health exam can detect systemic diseases such as high blood pressure, arthritis, cancer of the eye and diabetes, often before it is visible in other parts of the body.
Only an examining optometrist can determine the exact frequency a patient should be having an exam but here is a guide published by the CAO for seniors with low risk:
Adults (40 to 64 years): Adults aged 40 to 64 years should undergo an eye examination every 2 years.
Adults (65 years or older): Adults aged 65 years or older should undergo an eye examination annually.
Albertans over the age of 65 years old are covered for a basic eye exam, if performed in Alberta.