# Saturday, June 16, 2007
                 
Visioncare for Seniors

As we get older, it is normal to experience change in our eyesight. With age often comes difficulty reading small print, increased sensitivity to sunlight, difficulty seeing colors and contrasts, and loss of depth perception. You may also have physical symptoms such as dry eyes, or watery eyes.

It is important to be aware of these changes, and to have your eyes examined regularly to detect any potential problems early on. With the proper care, most age-related vision loss can be corrected with glasses, medication and/or surgery.

For seniors experiencing more serious vision related conditions, vision aids and/or services and support can allow them to maintain their independence and allow them to remain living in their own homes.

Just some of the vision-related symptoms that seniors often experience include:

  • Squinting, greater sensitivity to light
  • Choosing bright objects over dull colored, because it's easier to see
  • Spilling food or drinks because you misjudge where it is
  • Difficulty copying from written text
  • Clumsiness due to not being able to see what you are doing, i.e. buttoning a shirt
  • Experiencing flashes of light or rapid movement from the corners of your eyes
  • Difficulty with night driving, as well as problems seeing street signs or traffic signs
  • Experiencing uncontrolled eye movements
  • Falling due to not being able to see objects in your path

In addition to normal vision changes due to aging, several diseases or conditions can also affect eyesight. Common illnesses include:

  • Glaucoma: occurs when pressure within the eye begins to destroy the nerve fibres in the retina. Early detection and treatment includes eye drops, medication and/or surgery. Because most people do not experience early symptoms, regular eye exams are imperative in order to prevent vision loss and/or blindness.
  • Diabetic retinopathy: diabetes can cause changes to the blood vessels, starving the retina of oxygen, causing cloudy vision, seeing spots, and blindness. People with diabetes need to make their eye specialist aware of their condition in order to prevent possible blindness. 
  • Cataracts: gradual clouding of the lens of the eye, which prevents light from successfully reaching the retina, making tasks such as driving or reading incredibly difficult and/or impossible. Can be successful treated with surgery.
  • Age-related macular degeneration: occurs when the macula is damaged or impaired due to aging. It can cause permanent loss of central vision. Early detection and laser surgery can vastly slow down vision loss.
  • Floaters: tiny spots that float across your field of vision. While this is normal, and can  be shifted out of your central vision by moving the eye around, it can also be symptomatic of a more serious eye disease. Obtain immediate treatment if there is a sudden change in the amount or type of spots, or if you experience light flashes.

As many seniors will experience some vision related problems at some time in their life, it is important to have coverage that will help cover these expenses. Most of these costs are covered through employee benefits, which normally cease after retirement. HealthQuotes.ca offers a FollowMe health plan, which requires no medical examination if applied for within 60 days of discontinued group insurance. This coverage can help defray the costs of vision related treatment, laser surgery, and/or glasses.

We also offer other guaranteed issue health insurance plans (i.e. no medical exam or questions) for those seniors who have medical issues but have not recently lost employee benefits.

Your vision is essential to your well-being, happiness, and continued independence, so make sure you have the visioncare coverage you need!
    

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