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What Happens to Your Vision as You Age?

How to protect your eyes

One of the best things you can do to protect your eyes is to have a yearly eye exam. Your doctor will most likely use eye drops to dilate your pupils to look for common eye diseases that have no early signs. If you wear glasses your prescription would most likely be checked at your appointment. Checking for diseases like diabetes or high blood pressure is also important as these diseases can cause eye problems if not treated.

10 common eye problems

Many of the following eye problems are common and can often be easily treated. But it’s important to talk to your doctor. Sometimes these conditions can be signs of more serious problems.

  1. Difficulty seeing close objects or small print - known as presbyopia, reading glasses usually fix the problem.
  2. Seeing tiny specks or "cobwebs"  that float across your vision - known as floaters, this is common but sometimes a sign of a more serious eye problem such as retinal detachment. If you see many new floaters and/or flashes of light, see your doctor right away. This is a medical emergency.
  3. Having too many tears - often caused by light sensitivity, wind, temperature changes, or dry eyes. Wearing sunglasses or using eye drops may help.
  4. Eyelid problems - red and swollen eyelids, itching, tearing, and crusting of eyelashes during sleep. Warm compresses and gentle eyelid scrubs may be able to help.
  5. Cataracts - cloudy areas in the eye’s lens causing blurred or hazy vision. Some cataracts stay small and don’t change your eyesight much, while others become large and reduce vision. Cataract surgery is common and can restore good vision. If you have a cataract, your eye care professional will watch for changes over time to see if you would benefit from surgery.
  6. Corneal diseases and conditions - watery eyes, redness, pain, problems with vision, or a halo effect. Changing your eyeglass prescription or using eye drops may help. In severe cases, surgery may be needed.
  7. Dry eye - if you feel itching, burning, or other discomfort, your doctor may recommend a home humidifier, special eye drops (artificial tears), or ointments to treat dry eye.
  8. Glaucoma - too much fluid pressure inside the eye. If not treated, it can lead to vision loss and blindness. People with glaucoma have no early symptoms or pain. You can protect yourself by having regular dilated eye exams. Glaucoma can be treated with prescription eye drops, lasers, or surgery.
  9. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) - AMD can harm the sharp vision needed to see objects clearly. If you have AMD, ask if special dietary supplements could lower your chance of it getting worse.
  10. Diabetic retinopathy - develops slowly and with no early warning signs. May occur if you have diabetes. Keeping your blood sugar under control can prevent it or slow its progress. Laser surgery can sometimes prevent it from getting worse.

Our HMO plans are designed to help keep you healthy!

  • $0 Annual physical exam
  • Preventive screenings to find health problems earlier, when they’re easier to treat (a copayment may apply)
  • Coverage for annual routine vision and hearing exams (a copayment may apply)
  • Care managers are available to help you meet your health goals

We have a range of plans to meet different needs and budgets.  Compare them now with our HMO Plan Comparison Chart.

Eyewear Benefit

Tufts Health Plan Medicare Preferred HMO plans offer up to a $150 eyewear reimbursement, and our Tufts Health Plan Medicare Preferred Supplement One plan offers up to a $100 eyewear reimbursement. 


Annual Wellness Exam

Tufts Health Plan Medicare Preferred plans cover an Annual Wellness Exam each plan year. This is a more comprehensive doctor’s office visit designed to develop or update a personalized plan to prevent disease or disability based on your current health risk factors.


Resources & Tools

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Drug Search
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Find a doctor within your Tufts Health Plan Medicare Preferred HMO network or your Tufts Health Plan Senior Care Options network.