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Proper eye care is important for everyone, whether you have a history of vision problems or not, but for aging adults, senior eye care needs to be a higher priority than it did during younger days. This is because a number of eye diseases and conditions hit seniors more frequently than they do younger people, and this means more frequent visits to your Allentown optometrist.
While those with long standing nearsightedness or farsightedness may primarily think of seeing a doctor of optometry when they have a sense that their vision has worsened, our optometrist at Lehigh Valley Eye Care goes far beyond checking for vision problems, and this is especially important when it comes to senior eye care in Allentown, PA. During a regular eye exam, we check for signs of glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy just to name a few. While no patient is completely immune to these conditions, they do tend to affect older patients more often than children or younger adults.
One of the main conditions we look for in senior eye care is diabetic retinopathy, and in response, we have put together a targeted diabetic eye exam for those who are concerned about the condition. Diabetic retinopathy is a condition where the blood vessels that nourish the retina become damaged and leak blood and other fluids, clouding vision. A person who suffers from diabetic retinopathy may or may not notice symptoms, and many are unaware they have become diabetic until the diagnosis is confirmed by a doctor of optometry.
Another eye disease that affects seniors disproportionately is age related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD involves the breakdown of the macula, which is the center portion of the retina. Those with AMD may not notice symptoms at first, but an eye exam can often identify them and increase treatment options. With AMD the central vision becomes blurry and color and details become less sharp, which makes tasks such as driving or watching television more difficult.
Cataracts are another condition that is common in older adults, especially those over the age of 60. With cataracts, the natural lens of the eye develops a cloudy film which blurs vision, dulls colors, and makes glare become a bigger issue than it once was. The good news is that cataracts are highly treatable, and a large portion of seniors are excellent candidates for cataract surgery which often restores vision to a better level than the patient has experienced in years.
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that cause vision loss due to damage to the optic nerve. Seniors are at a higher risk for glaucoma, as are African Americans, and anyone with a family history of the disease. Glaucoma warning signs are minimal, and the disease can sneak up on a person from the side. The first vision loss is experienced in the peripheral (side) vision. Actual damage is irreversible, but regular visits to a doctor of optometry can help to limit pressure on the nerve and help to retain existing vision for longer.
At Lehigh Valley Eye Care in Allentown, PA we strive to provide the best possible eye care for all our patients and welcome anyone who is concerned about their vision or overall eye health. In order to encourage new patients, we're offering two specials for new patients; either a 15% discount on a first exam or a 20% discount on the second pair of eye glasses. To learn about these or other specials, or to set up an appointment, contact our clinic at (610) 432-3258.