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7th October 2015

You’re only as old as you see

Encourage your parents to get their eyes tested for charity and their own health this month

“Our eye health deteriorates as we get older, so it’s important to go for a regular check-up to make sure they’re healthy, as well as to keep your prescription up to date,” says Mark Blankstone.

An optician can check for everything from cataracts to glaucoma (a condition which affects the sight due to a buildup of pressure in the eye), both of which become more of a risk as you age.

“An eye test can also detect some non-eye-related disorders. Since we’re more prone to being affected by some conditions as we age, it’s really useful,” adds Mark.

It could pick up on early warning signs for diabetes or high blood pressure.

All adults should have a check-up at least every two years. But if you spot any of these warning signs in your parents, encourage them to book a test today.

  1. Reading at arm’s length.  Over the age of about 45, we tend to hold books and newspapers further and further away to focus correctly. “This could be a sign of presbyopia,” notes Mark, “This condition affects everyone as they age, making it harder for them to focus on objects close up. It’s nothing to worry about but means they will need their prescription updated.”
  2. Screwing up their eyes.  Half-closing one’s eyes trying to read something is another giveaway. “This could be a sign that they’re straining to focus, which could again suggest presbyopia,” suggests Mark. So get them to the optician pronto.
  3. They’ve become clumsy.  Don’t just write it off as them being doddery. “Hand-eye coordination and vision are closely linked,” stresses Mark. “If you’re picking up a cup, for example, you need to be able to clearly see it.” So if they’re dropping things or bumping into furniture, get them to book a sight test.
  4. Off the straight and narrow.  “If a person is finding that straight lines in their peripheral vision appear curved or that they become wavy when they move their head, they should book an appointment right away,” warns Mark. “This can be a sign of the early stages of age-related macular degeneration – a condition that leads to the gradual loss of central vision.”
  5. Prone to eye rubbing. Dry eyes can be more of a problem as we age, so this may be the cause of constant rubbing. However, Mark notes that this could also be an unconscious impulse on the part of your parent to try to clear their vision if their eyesight is poor. Either way, a trip to the optician could help them get to the root of the problem. So make the call today.

We’re encouraging everyone to get their eyes tested for World Sight Day on October 10. Plus throughout October, we are donating towards World Sight Month for every test we conduct. More details contact Blankstones Opticians today