Seniors Eye Care

Keep active and independent, book your eye exam today.

How often should seniors get their eyes examined?

Seniors aged 65 and older should undergo a comprehensive eye exam annually. It’s not just about whether you need glasses or a prescription change. Expert vision care and annual eye exams are the best way to minimize risks, reduce negative impacts and preserve quality of life for seniors.

Early detection of eye issues is key

Many common eye diseases have no early signs or symptoms. Annual comprehensive eye exams can detect and provide the ability to manage eye diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration, plus uncover other potentially serious medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Don’t let undetected eye issues impact your quality of life. Get your eyes checked yearly.

Healthy eyes = healthy aging

Maintaining eye health and proper vision is critical to healthy aging. Vision loss or impairment can seriously impact daily living – greatly increasing the risk of problems like fractures and falls – the leading cause of injuries among seniors and a major threat to their well-being and independence.

Alberta eye exam coverage for seniors

Alberta Health coverage is available towards eye exams for seniors 65+.

Alberta seniors eye benefits renew every July 1

Seniors, did you know your Alberta eye benefits renew every July 1? It’s true. A yearly eye exam can give you peace of mind to know there is no looming eye disease. It doesn’t always mean that glasses or a change in prescription are necessary or needed. It’s about taking care of your eye health. And remember, Alberta Health coverage is available towards eye exams for seniors 65+.

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Seniors, did you know:

  • Only 37 per cent of Alberta seniors get a yearly eye exam.
  • By age 65, one in nine Canadians develops irreversible vision loss.
  • By age 75, one in four Canadians develops irreversible vision loss.

Vision changes can occur as we age

  • Identifying objects is more challenging, especially at night.
  • Judging distance is more difficult.
  • Everyday tasks like reading take more effort or require glasses.
  • Colours are less bright and the contrast between colours is less noticeable.
  • Visual fields begin to narrow, which may lead to challenges with driving.
  • Fewer tears are produced, leading to burning or stinging dry eyes.

Tips to prevent falls

  • Use high wattage light bulbs.
  • Use nightlights or motion sensors in the bathroom and hallways.
  • Wear sunglasses, even in the winter, to reduce glare.
  • Mark the edge of stairs with coloured paint or treads.
  • Keep the lighting similar in every room.
  • Speak with your optometrist about multifocal lenses.

Some common eye problems experienced by seniors

Cataracts

  • Cataracts exist when the normally clear lens within your eye becomes cloudy and opaque.
  • Cataracts are a function of aging and are most often found in people over the age of 60, although they are occasionally found in younger people, including newborns.
  • Learn more about cataracts.

Diabetes

  • Diabetes and its complications can affect many parts of the eye, and can cause changes in vision.
  • Detection during an eye exam is often the first indication that a person may have the disease, or that a person with diabetes does not have adequate blood sugar control.
  • The most serious eye problem associated with diabetes is diabetic retinopathy.
  • Learn more about diabetes.

Macular degeneration

  • Macular degeneration affects the macula­–the central most part of the retina.
  • Macular degeneration causes the centre of your vision to blur or distort while the side or peripheral vision remains unaffected.
  • It is generally related to the aging process, and is the leading cause of blindness in North American adults over the age of 55.
  • While there is no cure for macular degeneration, early detection and prevention measures can delay or reduce vision loss.
  • Learn more about macular degeneration.

Glaucoma

  • Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in Canada.
  • Glaucoma is a progressive disease that most frequently occurs in individuals over the age of 40, with the risk of the disease increasing with age.
  • There is a greater risk of developing glaucoma for people with diabetes, high blood pressure, a history of eye injuries or a family history of glaucoma.
  • Learn more about glaucoma.

Presbyopia

  • Presbyopia is a natural effect of aging, usually occurring after the age of 40, in which the ability to focus on close objects decreases over time.
  • Presbyopia can cause headaches, blurred vision, tired eyes and the need for more light. This can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses.
  • Learn more about presbyopia.

Falls prevention for seniors

  • Falls are the leading cause of serious injuries among seniors, and seniors with low vision are more than twice as likely to fall.
  • This is why it’s important to visit your optometrist annually for an eye exam.
  • Learn more about falls prevention for seniors.

Your Alberta optometrist is a skilled professional

  • Alberta optometrists have specialized education. They complete a Bachelor of Science degree, followed by a four-year Doctor of Optometry degree from an accredited university.
  • Alberta optometrists are experts who play an important role in the vision, eye health, and overall health of your family.

Alberta optometrists are trained to:

  • Treat, manage and correct disorders and diseases of the visual system, the eye and its associated structures.
  • Recognize and detect related systemic conditions and manage ocular manifestations.
  • Diagnose, treat and manage binocular and perceptual vision disorders.
  • Prescribe any topical or oral Schedule 1 drug in the context of eye care.
  • Remove superficial foreign bodies from the eye in or below the surface of the cornea.
  • Plus, the independent management of glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy.
  • Alberta optometrists provide primary eye care.

Find an Optometrist

Seniors Eye Care: Additional resources

Doctor’s Note video tips



Further reading

Finding Balance: Fall Prevention Tips
Alberta Association of Optometrists Eye Health Library
Delicious recipes to help keep your eyes healthy