Research has shown that dilated eye exams are effective at increasing quality of life for seniors. When comparing a simple vision check on an eye chart at the primary-care doctor’s office, the study showed a seven-fold increase in the quality of life for seniors with no previously diagnosed eye disease.
This study underscores the fact that early forms of eye disease are usually silent, that is, they don’t cause any problems with vision. Even advanced forms of certain diseases like glaucoma may still not be picked up by reading an eye chart. The unfortunate fact is that if diseases like glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, for example, are undiagnosed for several years the quality of life may be severely affected by irreversible vision loss. Pupil dilation is a cost-effective way of screening for these conditions, and combined with digital retinal imaging is extremely proactive at detecting problems at the earliest possible stage. In some cases, problems like diabetes, high blood pressure and risk for stroke can even be picked up using these methods.
Our doctors recommend annual eye exam for people over age sixty-five. For the majority of these we will recommend a pupil dilation, which we can now do at the same visit. Please note that while the drops don’t last as long as they used to, they can cause blurriness and light sensitivity for a few hours afterwards. Driving short distances is usually fine as long as you have sunglasses.
Give us a call or request an appointment online if it’s been over a year since you last had your eyes checked.
– Dr. Wilk