Why Annual Senior Eye Exams Are So Important

Why Annual Senior Eye Exams Are So Important

As we age, our risk of a variety of eye problems increases. Just because you can see clearly with your prescription glasses does not mean that you do not need to visit your optometrist annually for a senior eye exam. There are numerous eye problems that can easily go undetected unless you seek professional help. Annual senior eye exams are a critical way to prevent these problems from occurring before it is too late-- causing irreversible vision damage. Not only will comprehensive eye exams help protect your eye health, but your optometrist will also be able to detect signs of other health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer. Because of these risks, it is important that you make your vision health a priority. 

The Importance Of Annual Senior Eye Exams

Once you reach a certain age, a number of eye diseases may develop that can permanently change your vision. The earlier these vision problems are detected and treated, the more likely you will retain good vision. The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends that adults over the age of 65 receive a comprehensive eye exam once per year. An annual comprehensive eye exam will detect conditions of the eye common to older adults such as:


Older age is not only a risk factor for the diagnosis of glaucoma, but also for its progression. This vision problem occurs due to a pressure buildup in the eye. This disease damages the optic nerve and can cause peripheral vision loss and total vision loss. What makes glaucoma challenging is that it is often associated with no signs or symptoms until you start to notice irreversible vision changes. A yearly comprehensive eye exam will be able to detect glaucoma in its early stages so you can begin treatments right away to preserve your vision and eye health. 


As we age, the proteins that make up the eye's natural lens begin to clump together causing the clouding of the lens. Cataracts cause blurry vision, dulling of colours, increased sensitivity to glare, and decreased ability to see under low light conditions such as night driving. If your cataracts become severe enough that prescription glasses cannot help your vision, the only other treatment option is surgery to remove the protein buildups. 

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

AMD occurs when aging damages the macula一the part of the eye that controls sharp vision. The macula is part of the retina (the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye). AMD is one of the leading causes of vision loss among older adults. There are no signs or symptoms until you start to notice irreversible vision loss. AMD can lead to complete vision loss, however, more common effects of the eye disease are difficulties seeing faces, driving, reading, and close-up work such as cooking. Visiting your optometrist for an annual comprehensive eye exam will allow them to monitor the progression of your AMD and provide treatment options such as laser treatments and eye injections. 

Retinal Tearing

Seniors are at an increased risk of retinal detachment in which the retina at the back of the eye pulls away from its normal position. When the retina is pulled away, it separates the retina cells from the layer of blood vessels that provide oxygen and nourishment. The longer retinal detachment goes untreated, the greater your risk of developing permanent vision loss. Retinal detachment is painless, however, some common signs of this condition include:

  • The appearance of floaters (tiny specs in your field of vision)
  • Flashes of light in one or both eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Curtain-like shadow over your field of vision

Visit your optometrist as soon as possible if you are suffering from any of these signs or symptoms as retinal detachment can cause permanent vision loss.

Comprehensive Senior Eye Exams In Calgary

Visiting your eye doctor annually for a comprehensive senior eye exam will help you protect your eye health and preserve your vision while giving insight into other aspects of your overall health. Preventative measures are key to ensuring your eyes are healthy and functioning correctly for many years to come. With most of these eye diseases, once vision loss occurs, it cannot be restored, this is why taking the preventative measure of visiting your optometrist is so important. 

Specs in the City Optometry provides children, adults, and senior eye exams in SE Calgary to help safeguard your sight and overall ocular health. Our experienced optometrists use the latest technology to quickly and accurately diagnose any eye conditions you may be suffering from, so treatment may commence right away. Contact us today to book your comprehensive eye exam so we can help you see clearly for years to come!


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Q: Are senior eye exams in Alberta covered by insurance?
A: Yes, they are. Comprehensive eye exams are covered by Alberta Health Care for seniors aged 65+.

Q: How long does a comprehensive eye exam take?
A: Your appointment will take less than an hour depending on which tests your eye doctor performs.

Q: What happens if my eye doctor detects one of these eye health problems during my exam?
A: Your optometrist will let you know if they detect any signs of any of these eye conditions and will develop a personalized treatment plan to help prevent any changes from occurring to your vision.


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