Check Your Eyes if You're Over 50

If age 50, 60, or beyond is fast approaching, new vision concerns may be within your sight. It is natural for some vision changes to occur by age 50. But more serious conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration become more prevalent in later years. Regular eye examinations are important at every stage of life, and the senior years are no exception. A comprehensive eye exam will not only measure how well you see, but assess the health of your eyes as well.

The American Optometric Association (AOA) has created The Great American Eye Test to help determine if an eye examination is necessary. The test, which appears in different versions for different age groups, asks a series of yes/no questions. Anyone who answers yes to more than one question should make an appointment to see an optometrist.

The questions on the test for adults over age 50 address whether one has tired or burning eyes, avoids close work, experiences near misses or difficulty parking when driving, has spots or floaters, notices distortions in vision and that lighting in the room seems insufficient, has a decrease in peripheral vision, and has diabetes and not had a dilated eye exam in more than a year.

Individuals between the ages of 41 and 60 should visit the optometrist every two years. Annual exams are recommended for those over age 61. Seniors with specific problems or risk factors may need more frequent visits.

For a free copy of The Great American Eye Test for adults over 50, call toll-free, 1-888-396-EYES (3937) or visit www.aoa.org.

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