At-Home Eye Tests for SeniorsNovember 22, 2022
As we age, some degree of vision problems is normal. Prescriptions change with age, and many who never used glasses before find they suddenly need them for driving or reading. The key word, however, is “some.” Some vision degeneration is normal. Sudden vision loss, pain, or clouding should not be ignored, as they point to more serious problems.
At-home tests for seniors are great for maintaining an understanding of your vision. Regular testing will help you recognize if your vision is suddenly declining. This gives you the opportunity to book an eye doctor appointment early.
Simple at-home eye tests for seniors
The primary test you can do in the comfort of your home is the visual acuity test. In this test, you read the letters line by line, which gradually decrease in size. This test could be completed on a screen, or by printing out the test and taping it on a wall of a well-lit room, at least 10 feet long. Have a loved one complete this step so you don’t accidentally read the letters ahead of time.
Once the test is set up, you sit in a chair 10 feet from the chart. You then cover one eye and read as far down the list as you can while your loved one marks what you get right or wrong. Once you’ve read as far down as possible, you switch eyes and repeat the test.
“Perfect” vision is 20/20, but you might already know your score varies from this number. If your test results are significantly different, set up an appointment with your optometrist. Remember: home vision tests are no replacements for genuine vision tests with a professional.
What are some common conditions seniors need to know?
At-home eye tests can’t tell you if you are developing a serious condition, but they can indicate that there may be a problem. And while eye problems can impact those of all ages, there are certain conditions that seniors are more susceptible to.
- Presbyopia. This is a relatively normal condition that occurs when a senior has difficulty seeing things up close. Symptoms include eye strain, headaches, and struggle reading small print. It is easily treated with contacts or glasses.
- Cataracts. Cataracts is a physically noticeable condition, as it is the clouding of the lens. Symptoms include blurry, cloudy, or double vision. Treatments include glasses and simple and fast eye surgery.
- Age-Related Macular Degeneration. This condition is partial vision loss in the center of the eye. There is no cure, but there are effective treatments if caught early.
- Glaucoma. Increased pressure in the eye causes glaucoma, which can lead to damage of the optic nerve and vision loss. Eye drops, medication, or surgery are treatments for the condition depending on your stage of progression.
How do I protect my eyes?
Attending your scheduled appointments and taking note of any vision changes are key ways to protect your vision. However, further eye care at home for the elderly is rather intuitive. A few steps include:
- Protect your eyes from the sun. Sunglasses do more than help you see on bright days. The sun’s ultraviolet rays are damaging to vision, and the sun helps you avoid them.
- Get quality sleep. Sleep naturally lubricates eyes and cleans out irritants that have accumulated throughout the day.
- Give your eyes a break from screens. Similar to ultraviolet rays, blue light is bad for your eyes. Make a point to get away from your screen for extended periods throughout the day.
- Practice healthy habits. As it impacts every other part of your life, healthy habits affect your eyes. Make sure you exercise, eat well, and avoid smoking.
Home caregivers can help you stay on top of your appointments
Between engagements with friends and family, medication, and doctor’s appointments, it can be difficult for seniors to remember exactly which appointment is when. At-home caregivers can help you stay on top of your appointments by creating a schedule in your calendar or helping you set reminders on your phone.
At-home caregivers can help with whatever activities of daily living you require assistance with. For more information, call 773-274-9262.
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