A plethora of changes to our health can occur as we age. From a greater susceptibility to disease to a weakening of physical structures, aging alters the body in indelible ways. That’s why while it’s important for everyone to make regular visits to health care professionals, it’s especially important for seniors. Health care professionals can help create regimens to slow or alter undesirable changes to the body; these regimens may include changing diet or exercise, taking medications or supplements, and other alterations to routine. All medical professionals should be visited with more frequency as we age, but visiting the optometrist might be of particular importance; there are a plethora of age related eye diseases that affect seniors disproportionately.

Age-related macular degeneration, known as AMD, is one of the most prominent of these illnesses. AMD is the leading cause of blindness in adults over the age of 55 in Canada; it is caused by the natural deterioration of your macula, the centre of the retina. When AMD develops, the centre of your vision begins to blur, with peripheral vision remaining intact. Over time, the blurred spot begins to increase in size; when it remains untreated, vision can deteriorate to the point of total blindness. There are two forms of AMD, dry and wet, with wet being the more severe of the two. Regular visits to the optometrist can help seniors spot AMD early, and a regimen of vitamins and supplements can help slow macular degeneration.

Cataracts are a near-universal age related eye problem. The lens of your eye is normally clear, but over time, it begins to cloud, potentially as a result of exposure to UV and other short-wave, high intensity light. Preventing cataracts is difficult, though reduced exposure to UV rays and foods high in antioxidants seem to help. Treating cataracts is viable; it might start with new glasses for less severe cases, and can end with the surgical removal of the lens, replacing it with a clear one. Regular visits to the optometrist can help detect cataracts early, so that vision is as clear as possible during every period of your life.

Glaucoma generally occurs as a result of increased pressure on the optic nerve; the circumstances that lead to this condition tend to arise more frequently the older we get. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness, but the pressure on the optic nerve can be resolved if it’s caught early; it’s one of the most important reasons seniors should visit the optometrist at least once a year.

Anytime there is a sudden change to your vision, including flashes of light or showers of floaters, it’s best to see a doctor immediately. When problems with vision or motor function are causing you to have difficulty performing your regular, daily activities, or when you’re having trouble keeping appointments to medical professionals because you feel overwhelmed, help is available; there are professional home care services Winnipeg residents can trust.

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