For anyone who has older people in their life who haven’t seen an Optician in a while, we recommend an eye test at least every two years (or as recommended by an Optometrist). It is not just about getting a pair of glasses, it is about improving confidence and quality of life – and maybe saving their vision.

Updating your glasses

Even if you are not experiencing any unusual symptoms and you feel like your vision hasn’t changed. We still recommend having an eye test at least every two years, or more often if recommended by an Optometrist. They will check the health of the eyes and let you know if your eyes have changed.

Simply updating glasses to your current prescription can reduce the risk of falls and improve your quality of life.

Eye test cost

You may qualify for a free NHS eye test and/or an optical voucher to reduce the cost of glasses or contact lenses if you:

  • Are over 60
  • Receive universal credit or tax credit and meet the criteria
  • Receive pension credit guarantee credit
  • And more

You can check who qualifies for a free NHS eye test here.

Eye conditions

Here are the main conditions that might be missed if your loved one’s eyes are not checked regularly:

Cataracts

Cataracts are formed when the clear lens inside your eye becomes cloudy or misty. It is a gradual process that can happen as we get older. The early stages of a cataract do not necessarily affect your sight but can reduce the quality of vision. The treatment for a cataract is surgery. If your cataract gets to the stage where it affects your sight and quality of life, your Optician will refer you to a hospital for assessment and treatment.

You should see an optician if you have any of these symptoms:

  • your vision is blurred or misty
  • you experience glare or find lights too bright
  • you find it hard to see in low light
  • colours look faded

If you wear glasses, you may feel your lenses are dirty and need cleaning, even when they don’t.

Age-related Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) covers a number of conditions which affect the macula, the area at the back of your eye, that you use for seeing fine detail and central vision during certain tasks such as reading and watching television. You can get it in one or both eyes. Symptoms include:

  • The first symptom is often a distorted or blurred area in your vision.
  • As things progress you might struggle to see anything in the middle of your vision.
  • For example, AMD can make things like reading, watching TV, driving or recognising faces difficult.
  • Straight lines appear wavy or crooked
  • Objects look smaller than normal
  • Missing patches in the vision
  • Difficulty in adapting to light, e.g in going from light to dark, or dark to light
  • Colours seem less bright than they used to
  • Seeing things that are not there (hallucinations)
Glaucoma

Glaucoma is the term given to a group of eye conditions which affect the optic nerve inside your eye. In glaucoma, the pressure of the fluid inside your eye causes damage to your optic nerve, which may affect how well you see. As your Optician, we will be able to tell you if you have a higher than usual risk of glaucoma and how often you should have regular eye examinations. If we suspect you have glaucoma, we will refer you to an ophthalmologist for diagnosis.

Glaucoma is known as the silent killer as you get no symptoms until the late stages. This is another good reason to have a regular eye test.

You will also qualify for an NHS eye test if you:

  • have been diagnosed with glaucoma
  • are 40 or over and either your mother, father, sibling or child has been diagnosed with glaucoma
  • have been advised that you are at risk of glaucoma by an ophthalmologist

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned, or if you would like to book an appointment, Cranford Opticians would be delighted to assist you. Please call 020 8759 9395 to make an appointment or alternatively, you can book online.

Please call Great Park Homecare on 01753 369088 for an initial no-obligation chat about how we can support you or your loved one to lead an active and independent life.