As we grow older, the likelihood of problems affecting our eyes and vision greatly increases.

Some may cause redness or irritation, prompting you to urgently book a checkup at your local optometrist.

However some conditions, even serious ones, don’t have obvious symptoms. For this reason, Medicare Australia allows seniors to access a bulk-billed eye appointment once every year, compared to once every three years for the general population.

Eye Problem in Seniors

Some of the vision and eye health issues which can arise in older people include:

  • dry eye syndrome;
  • reduced colour vision;
  • detached retina;
  • glaucoma;
  • macular degeneration;
  • cataracts;
  • close up vision decreases (presbyopia);
  • diabetic retinopathy.

As with many health concerns, the sooner they are diagnosed the more likely they can be successfully treated and symptoms minimised.

However what you may not know is that during a routine eye examination, an optometrist may also pick up a number of other, potentially dangerous, health conditions because of the way they affect the eye’s anatomy.

For example, if your optometrist notices narrowing arteries or knotted blood vessels in the eyes, they will likely recommend you visit your GP for a checkup, as these may indicate hypertension and/or elevated cholesterol levels. With no obvious symptoms, these issues could otherwise go undetected, even though they could potentially lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Keep an Eye on your Health!

Other possible conditions which may be noticed during a routine eye examination include:

  • diabetes;
  • melanoma (which can develop on the retina);
  • leukemia;
  • thyroid disease;
  • liver disease; and
  • multiple sclerosis.

The good news is that you don’t need a referral to see an optometrist; and as previously mentioned, checkups are usually bulk billed.

Keep an eye on your health, by visiting your local optometrist for a checkup regularly!

Author's Bio: 

Janet Camilleri loves writing for the web. In addition to her work in content marketing, she also blogs as the Middle Aged Mama, about learning to fashion a new life now that her kids are all grown up. No matter what she writes, or who she is writing for, Janet aims to amuse, inspire or inform - and sometimes, all three!