No two eyes the same

A new study out of the US has found that anisometropia, which is a condition indicated by ‘differing levels of visual abnormalities between eyes’, is a common ailment among older adults and one which worsens during the ageing process.

The issue with anisometropia

Researchers from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, examined the results of visual tests of 118 older adults, then followed up with them 12 years later. By the end of the study, the ages of the participants ranged from 67 to 79 years.

Upon examining the results, researchers found that the rate of anisometropia increased significantly with age, though it was more common among patients living with hyperopia, or farsightedness.

“Whatever the cause of the increase in anisometropia with ageing, the fact that significant anisometropia is at least 10 times more common in those over 75 years of age than in children, needs to be clearly emphasised to clinicians,” reads the report.

The research also points out that vision issues can increase the risk of falls for seniors, which could result in them being admitted to the emergency room or limit their mobility.

Taking care of your eyes

It’s important for older adults to take steps to monitor their vision as they age. Though Australia’s Medicare program covers the majority of the cost of eye tests performed by optometrists, certain types of vision care, such as eye therapy, do not fall under its coverage.

For this reason, older adults with vision problems and other health issues not covered by the government plan may want to consider private health insurance.