5 Things Your Optometrist Looks For

An annual vision exam is a simple, low-stress way to keep tabs on your eyes and overall health. Here are a few things your optometrist will be looking for:

1   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.

2  Cataracts are a nearly unavoidable part of aging. By age 80, more than half of all Americans either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery. 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.

3  Diabetic retinopathy 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 surgery.

4  Refractive errors. Vision changes and usually worsens with age. A yearly checkup will help keep vision sharp with updated eyewear prescriptions.

5  Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness among seniors. 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 the disorder.