August is National Eye Exam Month, but it’s not just this month that we all need to remember eye care. Did you know it’s recommended that people over the age of 65 get their eyes tested yearly? Why? Regular eye exams help to keep track of a very important aspect of your health: your vision!
Changes in eyesight may happen slowly over time, making it less likely for us to notice the change. As we age we are more likely to have worsening vision and other eye problems. A yearly eye check can also look for diseases like glaucoma, cataracts, and see if other health issues like diabetes are impacting eyesight.
Here are three big reasons you should schedule an eye exam this year:
Impaired vision can be a contributing factor to falls. Even having an outdated prescription could impact your vision enough to miss obstacles that can cause a fall. Slips and falls are a leading cause of injury for older adults and can greatly impact the quality of life. Your eye health also may require changes to your environment like adding more lights or brighter light bulbs. It’s important to have bright light over any steps or stairs so that everyone is able to see the steps clearly. At AmeraCare, our Safe Steps Program takes a holistic approach to fall prevention and helps to educate coordinate care, and prepare the environment for safety.
Active participation in hobbies and activities can be a big boost for mental health in elderly adults. Having your best possible vision makes doing your favorite hobbies easier. Consider how your hobbies and interests may need slight adjustments. Hobbies like reading, knitting, or stitching, may require you to opt for a direct light source in order to see your work more clearly without straining your eyes. Flexible lights can be attached to your book or a nearby table to allow you to position the light where it’s needed. With little adjustments like these, maintaining hobbies is a breeze!
It’s also important to ensure your prescription is up to date in order to read medication labels. In a given week, 17-19% of adults 65 years or older take ten different medications! These medications all need to be taken at the right time, with the right dose. Failure to take medications properly can result in an Adverse Drug Event (ADE) which results in over 150,000 visits to emergency departments by older adults every year. With proper medication management, AmeraCare field nurses are able to assess if something as simple as an outdated prescription is a contributing risk factor for ADEs, and steps can be taken to ensure proper medication adherence.
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