What do gray hair and poor vision have in common? They’re both a part of the natural aging process. Indeed, the patient advocacy organization ‘Prevent Blindness’ says that today there are about 41 million Americans aged 40 and above who have some sort of eye problem, and this number will balloon to 64 million by 2032 as baby boomers get older. Though it is inevitable, poor vision can be mitigated through regular eye exams, preferably while people are still young.

Hoosiers are lucky because there’s no shortage of experienced eye doctors in Indianapolis, like Dr. Penn Moody of Moody Eyes, to help them care for their vision. Optometrists, for instance, can provide them with basic vision care services, including eye exams, vision management, and the prescription of corrective lenses. However, an eye examination is arguably the most important contribution of these professionals, because it’s the only way for people to have a clear idea of their ocular health, even when vision problems are apparently non-existent.

How to protect your vision as you age

For example, glaucoma, which is the gradual loss of sight due to increasing pressure in the eyeball, has virtually no symptoms at its early stages. In fact, it is estimated 2-3 percent of the  people in the U.S. already have the disease and they don’t even know it yet. The only way to preemptively determine if a person has glaucoma or not is to measure the amount of aqueous humor (or the eye fluid) in his or her eyes and to perform other related diagnostic tests. This is done during your eye exam using a tonometer, a device which measures the eye’s intraocular pressure.

An optometrist’s responsibility doesn’t end there, because he or she will then  prescribe what type of treatment the patient should receive. If surgery is needed, the optometrist will coordinate the procedure with an ophthalmologist, who can provide more extensive vision care services. If the problem can be fixed using corrective lenses, the optometrist will ensure that the device is appropriate for the patient’s needs. In addition, experienced Indianapolis eye doctors will ensure to select the right lens size for their patients; most people tend to pick smaller lenses since they’re considering the aesthetics, rather than the function, of their eyewear.

With these things in mind, poor vision doesn’t have to become a debilitating condition. With proper eye care, and preventative and timely treatments, more serious vision issues can be avoided.

(Source: How to protect your vision as you age, Daily Herald, September 02, 2014)