Vision & Aging
As we age it is crucial that we make time for regular eye exams to protect and preserve our vision. Our optometrists at Thompson Optics are highly qualified and experienced in detecting eye conditions that commonly affect older people, such as:
Presbyopia commonly affects people over the age of 40. It is normal to lose your near focusing ability with age, and presbyopia is inevitable no matter how excellent your vision was previously. Smaller print will become very difficult to read after a certain age, and holding text farther away from your eyes does not solve the problem. Single vision eyeglasses and contact lenses typically correct long distance vision, but presbyopia requires a reading prescription to be added to eyeglasses and contacts, or that you wear reading glasses with your contacts.
Glaucoma occurs when pressure builds up within the eye, damaging the optic nerve. In its’ early stages, glaucoma is symptomless, and only a comprehensive eye exam can detect this deadly, silent eye disease. As it progresses, glaucoma causes a gradual loss of your peripheral vision, and if left untreated leads to blindness. Glaucoma is an incurable eye disease, treatable if detected in initial stages, before vision loss or blindness take place. Glaucoma can be treated with prescription eye drops and/or surgery.
Cataracts cause a clouding of your eyes’ lenses. Over 2.5 million Canadians have cataracts, and they are a leading cause of blindness worldwide. Cataracts usually appear in people over 55, although younger people get them too. Common symptoms include:
Poor Night Vision
Frequent Eyewear Prescription Changes
Excessive exposure to the sun
Cataracts are initially treatable with new glasses, anti-glare (polarized) sunglasses, and brighter lighting. If necessary, surgery is a quick and painless option. Cataract surgery involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial lens. Protecting your eyes from the sun with hats and sunglasses may delay the onset of cataracts.
Age-related Macular Degeneration ARMD
Macular degeneration, better known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is the leading cause of vision loss for Canadians, usually affecting people aged 50 and older. AMD affects the macula, which is the part of the eye that allows you to see in sharp detail. No pain is involved in this degenerative eye disease, but cells in the macula die, affecting your ability to read, drive, and watch T.V., seriously compromising your quality of life. Some cases of AMD progress so slowly that people don’t notice minor changes in the quality of their vision. In other instances, AMD advances rapidly, threatening vision in both eyes. There are two types of AMD – wet and dry. In about 10% of cases, dry AMD progresses to Wet AMD, where abnormal blood vessels grow beneath the retina, leaking blood and fluid. This seepage permanently damages light-sensing retinal cells, triggering their death and leaving blind spots in central vision. Dry AMD is a condition where the light-sensing cells in the macula slowly break down, gradually blurring central vision in the affected eye. Dry AMD accounts for 90% of all AMD cases, although it may progress to wet AMD over time. AMD is not currently curable, although regular eye checkups can detect this disease in its early stages, when treatment is most effective.
Diabetic retinopathy affects the retina, the thin layer of light-sensing tissue at the back of the eye, and is directly caused by diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy affects 500,000 Canadians and is one of the leading causes of blindness in Canada. It affects the vision of more than half of Canadians 18 and older who are diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetics need to have a complete annual eye exam at least once a year. Diabetics who regularly visit their optometrist and effectively manage their blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels can decrease their chances of diabetes-related blindness by 90%. Diabetic retinopathy can be treated with laser surgery if detected in a timely manner.
COMPREHENSIVE EYE EXAMS, INCLUDING RETINAL SCREENING
Regular comprehensive eye exams, which include retinal screening, are covered by Alberta Health Care for patients under the age of 19 and over the age of 65. The majority of extended health benefits also cover regular comprehensive eye exams, and we direct bill most insurance providers.
- Ophthalmologist assessed
- No dilation required
- Non-invasive photography
- State-of-the-art technology
At Thompson Optics you will find a caring team of professionals who deliver high-caliber eye care to you and your family. We will take care of all your vision needs and enhance your quality of life. We offer you our valuable knowledge and vast experience with the treatment of complex contact lens cases and contact lens fittings. Thompson Optics invite you and your friends and family to visit our practice and share the benefit of our knowledge, experience, and professional approach to eye care.