To ensure healthy vision at every stage of life, the American Academy of Ophthalmology is urging patients to have a dilated eye exam as a part of addressing health care after age 40. Having a baseline eye exam at 40 gives your eye doctor a good look at the status of your vision as you enter middle age, and will alert your physician to any changes in your eyes as you age. For individuals with a family history of high blood pressure, diabetes, or eye disease, an eye exam should be part of your 40th birthday celebration– a time when early changes in vision and signs of eye disease may occur. Depending upon the results of your evaluation, your eye doctor may prescribe interventions to preserve your vision and eye health, including regular follow-up eye exam to monitor changes in your vision and structures in the eye that can indicate disease.
A thorough ophthalmologic evaluation can uncover common abnormalities of the visual system and related structures, as well as less common but extremely serious ones, like ocular tumors. This evaluation can also uncover evidence of many forms of chronic disease that affect the eyes, like hypertension and diabetes.
For adults over 40, the need for awareness of age-related eye diseases is critical. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness and often strikes working aged adults. In 2005, the Centers for Disease Control estimated that there were over 20 million people in the U.S. living with diabetes, with as many as 6 million of those cases undiagnosed. Many patients with diabetic retinopathy suffer vision loss because they did not seek evaluation and treatment of vision symptoms in time to prevent serious vision loss. Primary open-angle glaucoma affects over two million people, with half of that number unaware that they had the disease at the time of diagnosis. With the earliest possible detection, and appropriate intervention, potentially blinding diseases like glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy can have a more favorable outcome.
Alpine Eye Care is the leading eye care center in Northern Michigan, offering comprehensive eye care services including eye exams, vision correction, specialized eye care for seniors, treatment of eye diseases, and in-office laser treatments for macular degeneration, complications of diabetes and glaucoma. We are home to the region’s only two board-certified eye surgeons, who offer state-of-the art surgery, performed at the local hospital of your choice. Call 1.877.733.2020 or complete an online contact form to schedule an appointment. Don’t neglect your vision as you age. Make lifelong vision health your goal with help from Alpine Eye Care.