Why You Need an Eye Exam Once You Retire

Well, you’ve made it. All those years of slowly climbing the corporate ladder, staying late at work to meet urgent deadlines and saving your money wisely have finally paid off. You’re retired! First off, some congratulations are in order.

Now that you’ve reached retirement age, you probably have a whole list of things you’d like to do. Maybe you plan on traveling, reading, catching up on movies and TV or doing some of those neglected home improvements. Or maybe you’re looking to pick up an adventurous new hobby like kite flying, baton twirling or glassblowing (hey, it’s never too late, right?).

All of those activities have something in common: they require good vision. As we get older, we are more prone to certain age-related eye diseases. Luckily, as a retiree you’ll have more time to take care of your overall health, your eyes included.

The most important thing you can do to prevent eye diseases and maintain good eye health is to have regular eye exams. Optometrists recommend that individuals around age 60 visit an optometrist annually to prevent those age-related vision problems. Some eye diseases have no early, recognizable symptoms until the condition is already advanced, so regular eye exams and healthy lifestyle choices can go a long way to help prevent those eye problems.

During an eye exam, your doctor will perform multiple tests on your eyes to determine your eye health and spot any problems. Below are some of the eye tests that could be performed by your optometrist:

 - Visual acuity test — This test measures how clearly you see, and consists of reading small letters on a wall opposite you.

 - Eye muscle test — Your eye doctor will watch your eye movements as you follow a moving object to determine your eyes’ muscle strength and coordination.

 - Retinal examination — This eye exam allows your doctor to see the back of your eye, including the areas like the retina and optic disk. In order for your doctor to see these structures, your pupils must be dilated with eye drops.

 - Refraction assessment — This test is to determine if light rays focus perfectly on the back of your eye. If you have a refractive error, you may need glasses or contact lenses for the sharpest, most comfortable vision possible.

 - Tonometry — Your optometrist will use a puff of air to measure the fluid pressure inside your eye. This test is used to detect glaucoma, a disease that damages the optic nerve.

Individuals with diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure) or a family history of eye disease have the greatest risk for developing vision problems. If you have those conditions, it’s really important to have frequent eye exams. Your eye doctor will let you know what you can do to prevent eye diseases like diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and cataracts.

Remember, you only have one set of eyes, so it is important to take care of them. If you are worried about any of these age-related eye problems or your overall eye health, be sure to visit your eye doctor as soon as you can. If you don’t have vision insurance, learn more about VSP vision insurance today and get your eye exam within the week.

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