Eye Care for Seniors
At Kodak Lens Vision Centre, we understand the unique and evolving eye care needs that come with the wisdom and experience of senior citizenship. Our commitment to your eye health goes beyond just routine check-ups; it’s about enhancing your quality of life. Individuals over 60 can ensure they maintain good vision by seeking proper eye care.
We offer tailored eye care services to help seniors detect warning signs of age-related eye diseases known to reduce the overall quality of life and potentially cause vision loss¹.
Eye Exam & Testing for Senior Citizens
Many eye diseases affecting seniors don’t have early symptoms. Most develop painlessly and will only be noticeable when the condition is at an advanced stage.
Our comprehensive eye tests and exams for senior citizens can help with early detection, which allows for effective remedies like wiser lifestyle choices and timely treatments that can significantly improve vision or aid in preventing a condition.
Here are some common eye tests for seniors we have available at all of our Kodak Lens Vision Centre locations:
1. Glaucoma Test
This eye exam tests for glaucoma, an eye condition characterised by damage to the optic nerve (the nerve responsible for relaying information between the brain and the eyes).
Glaucoma is linked to health problems like high intraocular pressure (high pressure inside the eye)². It is more prevalent among seniors above age 65 in many countries (such as the US) and is said to be responsible for 75% of legally blind cases among seniors.
A glaucoma test or screening at any of our locations in Toronto involves a thorough examination of the eyes using a special lamp with a microscope (slit lamp). A scan (optical coherence tomography) is then done to check the back of the eyes and produce advanced images.
Glaucoma tests are quick and comfortable. They usually involve multiple tests for different aspects i.e.,
- A tonometry test to check inner eye pressure
- Ophthalmoscopy exam to check the colour and shape of the optic nerve
- A perimetry test to check the field of vision
- A gonioscopy to test the angle of the eye (where the iris and cornea meet)
- A pachymetry test to assess corneal thickness³
2. Diabetic Eye Exam
Diabetes can affect people at any age; however, it is more prevalent among seniors⁴. There’s also a link between diabetes and eye conditions like vision loss, double vision, blurry vision, and premature presbyopia (difficulty focusing on close objects)⁵.
Our diabetes eye exams focus on examining the back of the eyes to check regions like the optic nerve area and blood vessels at the front/middle part of the retina, which are most affected by diabetes.
3. Cataract Test
This exam checks for a cataract (cloudiness in the eye’s lens located behind the pupil). Cataracts are also more prevalent among seniors⁶. With age, the eye’s lens tends to become harder and thicker, causing vision difficulties at night or in bright light. Our cataract test ensures early detection and paves the way for the right treatment to preserve or restore clear healthy vision.
Kodak Lens offers cataract screening for seniors in Toronto and the Greater Toronto area. This involves:
- A vision acuity test
- An eye structure test
- A retinal exam to check the lens for signs/presence of a cataract
- A fluid pressure test to assess for intraocular pressure
4. Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Test
As the name suggests, this exam checks for age-related vision deterioration. This involves:
- A visual acuity test for assessing central vision
- An ophthalmoscopy to assess AMD signs like white marks under the retina
- An Amsler grid exam that detects late AMD, which is more severe as it causes vision loss in a shorter period of time
- Other tests done by our optometrists include optical coherence tomography and low-vision tests⁷
Senior Eye Care: Common Signs to Know
There are distinct symptoms that indicate you may require senior eye care services. The main signs to look out for include:
- Sudden eye pain, redness, and nausea
- Sudden single-eye vision blur
- Spots and floaters in the field of vision
- Double vision
- Surface pain, tearing, or irritation
- Narrowing of vision field
- Gradual vision loss, distorted vision
- Cloudy vision, night light halos, faded colour vision
- Blurred vision in diabetics
How often should seniors get eye exams?
The Ontario Association of Optometrists suggests that seniors (aged 65 years or more) should go for one eye test every 1.5 years. However, the association recommends more frequent eye exams for seniors with conditions like diabetes, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts⁸.
OHIP and seniors’ eye exams
The OHIP (Canadian government-run health plan in Ontario) has been offering basic health care services to Ontario residents who meet certain eligibility requirements.
Seniors with certain medical conditions are entitled to an OHIP-insured annual eye exam. Those with eligible health conditions affecting their eyes can get two follow-up assessment exams every year, following an annual eye exam.
Seniors without eligible conditions are entitled to one eye exam every 1.5 years and two follow-up assessment exams every 1.5 years, following an annual eye exam⁹.
Recent OHIP changes to keep in mind
Effective September 1st 2023, the OHIP announced changes meant to ensure Ontarians who are at a greater risk of losing their vision get priority funding to access up-to-date eye care.
Seniors (aged 65 years or more) with any one or more of the following sight-threatening conditions qualify for one OHIP-insured comprehensive eye exam yearly from an optometrist. Eligible conditions include;
- Glaucoma (confirmed)
- Cataracts (worse than 20/40 vision)
- Retinal disease (acute or progressive)
- Corneal disease (acute)
- Optic nerve pathway disease (acute)
- Uveitis (active)
- Seniors with crossed eyes (suddenly, due to disease or injury)
- Seniors taking certain medications i.e., Tamoxifen, Ethambutol, chloroquine, and hydroxychloroquine
Seniors who have unconfirmed but examined glaucoma, early cataracts, stable retinal condition, stable corneal disease, stable optic nerve pathway disease, inactive uveitis, and long-standing crossed-eyes are eligible for OHIP-insured comprehensive eye exams every 1.5 years¹⁰.
Looking for senior eye care services?
Seniors are more susceptible to serious ocular health conditions. Regular eye exams can help to detect conditions and inform suitable treatment before it’s too late. If you are looking for comprehensive senior eye care services that are covered by OHIP in Toronto and the Greater Toronto area, Kodak Lens Vision Centre is exactly what you need. Book an appointment with our trusted optometrists and visit any of our seven locations. You can also click here to inquire more about senior eye care.