As a person approaches their twilight years, the health of their body begins to decline. This is why it is crucial for all elderly people to get periodic health checks; these will enable them to get the medication and the support they require so that they can adapt to the physical changes they are experiencing and thus maintain their quality of life. Here are two health tests that all older people should have at least once a year.
A sight test
The aging process puts people at greater risk of developing certain sight-related conditions; elderly people, for example, are far more likely than their younger counterparts to suffer from things such as glaucoma and cataracts. Whilst these diseases can result in vision loss, this can be prevented if the diseases are detected and treated at an early stage.
Laser surgery, oral medication and eye drops, for instance, can be used to halt the progression of glaucoma. In the case of cataracts (a condition which leads to a clouding of the eye's lens), surgery can be used to replace the damaged lens with an artificial one and thus restore the person's sight.
A sight test can also help to identify and address the most common of all age-related eye conditions, presbyopia. This is a form of long-sightedness, which is thought to be caused by a combination of atrophying of the muscle fibres surrounding the eye's lens, along with a loss of elasticity within the lens itself. This particular condition is easily treated with prescription glasses or contact lenses.
A hearing test
A large number of elderly people develop age-related hearing loss (a condition which medical professionals call 'presbycusis'). This is said to be caused by the inner ear's sensory hair cells dying off. Loss of hearing can have a major impact on an older person's quality of life; it can make it harder for them to communicate with their friends and family (as they cannot hear what those around them are saying), which, in turn, can lead to them feeling socially isolated and depressed. It can also make it impossible for them to partake in simple, everyday activities that they once enjoyed, such as watching a television show or listening to music.
Periodic hearing tests can help to detect this issue before it begins to hinder a person's ability to enjoy their life. Whilst presbycusis cannot be cured, the sufferer's hearing can be improved if they are provided with a hearing aid. This device sits on top of the ear and essentially serves as a sound amplifier, which makes it easier for the wearer to hear.