Keep An Eye Out For These Vision Changes

November 16th, 2020

As we get older, it’s common to need some type of vision correction. In fact, up to 75% of adults use aids like glasses or contacts. Eye conditions also become more common with age. Sadly, several age-related eye conditions can lead to permanent vision loss, which is why it’s important to take care of your eye health. 

As one of the leading causes of blindness in people older than 60, glaucoma is important to watch out for as you age. Glaucoma occurs when the optic nerve is damaged. Over time, the nerve deteriorates, causing blind spots in your field of vision. One of the early signs of glaucoma is a higher-than-normal pressure in the eye. Fluid flows throughout your eye. Normally, it drains, but sometimes the eye produces too much fluid or won’t drain properly. When this happens, it causes fluid to build up in your eye. This in turn causes elevated eye pressure.

Because this happens over time, though, you likely won’t notice pressure building up. Some may lose vision before they ever become aware of the problem. Additionally, some factors put you at higher risk of getting glaucoma.

Risk Factors

People who…

  • Have diabetes
  • Have a family history of glaucoma
  • Are African American and over 50
  • Or are Hispanic and over 65

…are considered high-risk for glaucoma. Fortunately, early identification can help you protect your eyes for a long time. If you fall into one of these categories and receive Medicare benefits, you are likely eligible for a free glaucoma test. Medicare covers yearly glaucoma tests for high-risk patients. 

Additionally, if you regularly visit the optometrist, they are likely already checking for glaucoma. Those annoying tests like the puff of air and pupil dilation actually both help your eye doctor check for glaucoma! Though Original Medicare doesn’t cover eye exams, other plans might. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan or other supplemental plan, check to see whether it covers an annual eye exam and be sure to schedule one!

Have you found your Medicare coverage for next year? Make sure you know what your options are!

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