Why Senior Eye Exams Include Glaucoma Screening

Why Senior Eye Exams Include Glaucoma Screening

When you go for a senior eye exam, your optometrist will perform a variety of tests to check your vision and your eye health. One part of a senior eye exam is glaucoma screening, which uses technology such as OTC scans and retinal imaging along with glaucoma-specific testing. Although there are various forms of glaucoma and it is possible for this condition to develop at any age, it is most common for glaucoma to develop later in life, making glaucoma screening an important part of a senior eye exam. Once glaucoma has developed, it can cause permanent vision impairment and even blindness.


Why Glaucoma Screening Is So Important During Senior Eye Exams

Glaucoma Develops Without Presenting Symptoms
Once glaucoma begins to present symptoms, damage to the optic nerve has already begun. Once vision loss begins, it cannot be reversed. The only way to prevent vision impairment caused by glaucoma is to detect this condition early through eye exams. When an optometrist sees signs of glaucoma development, they can create a glaucoma management plan to stop the progression of it and to save your eyesight before it is too late.

Glaucoma Typically Occurs After Age 60
Your risk for developing glaucoma increases around age 60, as this is the typical age of onset. There are also other factors that begin to present around this age that increase your risk of developing glaucoma. For example, many people begin to need more medication around age 60 and are more likely to develop conditions such as high blood sugar and high blood pressure around this age. Although the specific cause of glaucoma is not yet known, these factors seem to increase a person’s risk of developing glaucoma. Although optometrists are always looking for abnormalities and threats to eye health in every eye exam, regardless of age, at age 60 glaucoma screenings may become more in-depth and more glaucoma screening tests may be performed during a senior eye exam than what you had in the past.

Glaucoma Can Cause Other Health Risks For Seniors
When a person develops glaucoma, the impairment or loss of eyesight can lead to other health issues. People who have suffered vision damage from glaucoma are more likely to bump into their surroundings or to fall, which can lead to serious injury and lengthy recovery, particularly for seniors. Seniors with vision impairments are also at a higher risk of developing depression. Seniors who feel limited in their ability to participate in the hobbies and activities that once gave them joy or who have a lower quality of life due to vision impairment tend to feel more depressed than those with unimpaired vision.


Receive Glaucoma Testing By Booking A Senior Eye Exam

The older you get, the more likely it is that glaucoma will develop. Regular senior eye exams will help you to know the status of your eye health and get the help you need so that glaucoma development can be slowed or stopped before your vision is impacted. The longer you wait, the more potential glaucoma symptoms may develop. At Specs in the City, our optometrists will examine your eye health to assess any potential glaucoma development, and if this condition is detected we will work with you to develop a glaucoma management plan. To book your senior eye exam and protect yourself against glaucoma, call Specs in the City at 1-403-252-2020 or fill out the online contact form to meet with a Calgary optometrist.



Q: Can an optometrist restore my vision if it has been damaged by glaucoma?
A: Unfortunately, the effects of glaucoma cannot be reversed. They can however be managed through treatments such as medicated eye drops or prescription lenses.

Q: Is glaucoma hereditary?
A: Recent research has unveiled a hereditary aspect of glaucoma. Certain people have genes that are linked to optic nerve damage and abnormally high eye pressure.

Q: Does Alberta Health Care cover eye exams?
A: The Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) provides coverage for annual eye exams if you’re between the ages of 0-18, or over 65. The provincial plan can also be used in times of an emergency should you require an immediate appointment with an eye doctor. Find out more about eye emergencies here.

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